Can you imagine the furore?

China has successfully produced natural gas from methane hydrate, also known as “flammable ice”, in an experimental project in the South China Sea, the land and resources ministry said on Saturday.

Fracking for methane hydrates?

Still, look at the good side, Swampy will end up getting a wash as he tries to picket the site.

23 thoughts on “Can you imagine the furore?”

  1. Bloke no Longer in Austria

    I was watching a docu the other day, where the presenter had a theory that some ship had been sunk by huge upwells of methane causing it to capsize. I thought, what a load of bollxm but perhaps it could be true.

    Anyway this stuff is truly renewable, the sea is full of things dying and sinking to the bottom. Does the organic matter need any special conditions to degrade sufficiently ?

  2. Capsize, no. But methane mixed with water has entirely different implications for buoyancy than water alone. Imagine a ship plodding along quite happily in salt water. Eruption of methane below it. Ship sinks like a stone, immediately.

  3. “Still, look at the good side, Swampy will end up getting a wash as he tries to picket the site.”
    Swampy can help save the Planet by taking some rubbish bags and gathering up floating plastic litter while he’s about it.

  4. “Swampy can help save the Planet by taking some rubbish bags and gathering up floating plastic litter while he’s about it.”

    The mess the protesters leave behind at anti-fracking sites is huge. The “environmentalists” tend to cause more pollution than the drilling companies who follow all the rules and regulations set by the Environment Agency. Not just literally shitting in the fields, but burning wood and leaving their trash behind. You’ll also find the ones who complain most about being poisoned by the non-existent pollution in the air are smokers.

  5. “Capsize, no. But methane mixed with water has entirely different implications for buoyancy than water alone. Imagine a ship plodding along quite happily in salt water. Eruption of methane below it. Ship sinks like a stone, immediately.”

    Peter O’Donnell used this idea in his novel The Night of Morningstar”, a Modesty Blaise adventure.

  6. @ [email protected]:09
    Your looking at a large area of uniform gas upwelling. Probably quite rare. More likely are pockets of gas reaching the surface. And as these may have been rising for a couple of miles, they’re going to reach the surface as discrete bubbles of gas saturated water. The effect’s much as you say, but for the ship it’s like hitting a large hole in the road. The bows dig in whilst the stern’s still floating. Then the bows run into the normal water, other side of the bubble whilst the stern’s now losing buoyancy. It ships a lot of water but retains enough buoyancy in the hull to remain afloat. Any asymmetry in all this & that’ll be on it’s side. If cargo’s shifted that’s how it stays, or it rolls right over.

  7. Could do, BiI. But the effect’s not dissimilar from a ship encountering a big wave. Except it’s the ship doing the moving, not the water. Ships survive big waves. That’s what they’re designed for.

  8. Maybe some experiments are called for. Tim could do them in his bath, in Portugal, using his rubber duck & & farts. Couple of large helpings of feijoada the night before should help.

  9. Such hydrates feature regularly in AGW scaremongering. Apparently there are squillions of tons of methane locked up in Siberia (methane being a highly efficient greenhouse gas). If the average termperature there increases by, oh, 0.005ºC, a chain reaction will start sealing the planet’s DOOM.

    Just thought I’d cheer everyone up a bit.

  10. Bloke no Longer in Austria

    What are whales’ diegestions like? I bet thery’re a danger to shipping with all that plankton and kelp that they devour.

  11. Capsize, no. But methane mixed with water has entirely different implications for buoyancy than water alone. Imagine a ship plodding along quite happily in salt water. Eruption of methane below it. Ship sinks like a stone, immediately.

    Could happen with a ruptured gas line in shallow water too. I once spent a fortnight dumping rocks on twin 36″ gas lines in 80m of water in the Sea of Okhostk (haven’t we we all?). It sharpened the mind to think if we ruptured the line we’d likely sink.

  12. Bloke no Longer in Austria

    Ah, ah, Wat Dabney well done ! That theory that she is debunking is exactly what this other bloke on the telly was going on about.

    Like DocBud, though, I doubt her bona fides. She is neither wearing a lab coat nor is her hair in a bun.

  13. wat dabney’s example is the Bermuda Triangle.

    Would there be a difference between methane coming up to the surface from say a mile or two down (by the tine that gets to the surface, the bubbles will be small, and all well dispersed too), and a much shallower sea bed where the effect may be more concentrated & less broken down?

    As in DocBud’s North Sea example above, where the depth was less than 150 metres?

  14. In Rocco’s version the sciency lady is definitely wearing a lab coat, thick rimmed glasses and has her hair in a bun, but not for long.

  15. SPIDERS FROM BETELGUESE
    Scene 4 INT, NIGHT
    The Professor’s lab

    TROY [the square-jawed reporter investigating odd goings-on in a small Texas town]:
    Do you have to wear those?

    SCIENCY LADY: Of course I do, you randy twat, I can’t see a fucking thing without them.

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