Methane. The most dangerous greenhouse gas of all times. It is hidden in frozen permafrost in the tundra at the nothern hemisphere. Until now, it has not been seen as the biggest environmental problem. But during the global rise of the temperature, humanity have a serious problem, which we in short time has to deal with. The permafrost is melting and the trapped methane can be released within a very short time and have the effect on the planet as 400.000 atomic bombs. The KATA project is a rescue program dealing with a unexposed problem, methane. The project will start to retrofit Mongolia, which is where the methane first will attack the environment. Picture; Collage made on the background of  SuperStudio  (Adolfo Natalini and Cristiano Toraldo di Francia)    


METHANE IS CREATED BY A BACTERIA A particle of carbon meets energy, which is hydrogen, and adds up to an extremely small atomic mass. Methane is formed in some enzymic chemical reactions, but most of all through the metabolism of a bacteria- the metanogen- that lives in no oxygen conditions- anaerobic.  01   IT LIVES IN NO OXYGEN CONDITIONS The bacteria procreates in the soil where animals’ and plants’ remains are breaking down. This condensed soil is found underneath the lakes and in the tundra- the permafrost. 02   WHAT IS PERMAFROST? Permafrost is the soil below the freezing point of water 0 degrees celcius for two or more years. 05 MEASURING METHANE To understand the methane production we made a prototype, where we were measuring 8 different types of human waste. The experiment was during one month, and showed that plants were creating the biggest amount of methane. 04 SO HOW IS METHANE RELEASED The methane is not only transferred directly from the soil, it is also transfered through the plants. The plants absorb CO2 and the bacteria produce more methane. When the permafrost is melting methane is released.The plants works as chimneys 06   METHANE INTO THE ATMOSPHERE Higher temperature means that, the permafrost is melting and methane particles is released. The particles rise fast into the atmosphere The methane is trapped in the atmosphere for 12 years. Methane is a greenhouse gas, and traps 34 times more heat per mass than CO2. With  no oxygen, the methane will stay in the atmosphere. But the methane react with oxygen over 12 years and becomes CO2. The CO2 stays in the stratosphere for 100 years. In that way methane is a much more powerful greenhouse gas, than CO2. 07a 07c 07b07d           GLOBAL CYCLE The global temperature is rising. Positive feedbacks makes the rise of the global temperature grow faster. A positive feedback is not positive on the climate – it is the opposite. There are 4 different positive feedbacks.

  • 1. Melting arctic
  • The ice is reflecting the heat. But now the ice is melting, so the water absorbs more heat. This mean a higher global temperature
  • 2. Disappearing of Amazons
  • The Amazon is disappearing. This means that less trees absorb CO2. This mean that trees send less moisture into the air. This mean a higher global temperature
  • 3. Clogging sink
  • The ocean absorb a big amount of CO2. But the plankton grows slower with higher temperature. This mean a higher global temperature
  • 4. Melting permafrost
  • The melting of permafrost release a big amount of methane. And the methane turns into CO2. This mean a higher global temperature.

When the feedback works together, the temperature will rise much more quickly. 08a   08b08c08d         THE HUMANS EMISSION OF METHANE We made an interactive map which show the human emission of methane. The map is connected to instant data from the internet. The maps shows, that the amount of methane release has been increased from 2006 until 2013. The biggest amount of methane is released from the agriculture and fossil fuel extraction 09   BUT WHERE IS OUR REAL ENEMY?               Where is the biggest concentration of methane. Is from the humans in city? Or is it the nature? If you take the same area of Barcelona and the Tundra. Their emission of methane is the same.  But the tundra is about to change, and will soon release much more, when the permafrost melts. In Mongolia the methane has increased dramatically. So this is where the “enemy” is now. 10


            WHAT IS THE CONSEQUENCES?       The predictions of methane level in the atmosphere says, that we are in the grey line (see diagram below). But actually we are in the blue line. Methane is a 25 times more strong greenhouse gas than co2. But a timeperiod of 20 years it is 85 times stronger. If the methane is released in a spike, the consequences will be catastrophic. This will  be equivalent to 400.000 atomic bombs. This will happen, if the global temperature will rise so fast, as the predictions says. And actually the predictions have until now been too optimistic.14  






  We know that the enemy hides in the nature. The biggest enemy is now Mongolia. The vision is to retrofit whole Mongolia. 40 % of the population of Mongolia is nomadic. The nomadic is the key to clean Mongolia from the methane in the ground. Using the continuos movements of the nomadics, it is possible within a short time to cover whole Mongolia. The first place to attack is where the biggest amount of permafrost is in Mongolia and where we can help the dying cities. Methane is changed into methanol, so that i can be used as fuel and as new power for electricity.   Nomadic-cleaning-movements-animation Nomadic-movements-animationMethane-Steppe-animation   Methane-area-of-attack-animation   ProcessDiagram-of-methanol-phase