In one embodiment, the method of the invention monitors one or more of the following conditions: a relatively low temperature value of the gas stream; a relatively high temperature value of the gas stream; and a rate-of-change of monitored temperature. In a preferred embodiment, the rate of temperature change is monitored to prevent the occurrence of an unacceptably high or low temperature condition. Here, at least two temperatures of the recirculating gas stream are monitored over a period of time. The rate-of-change of temperature versus time is determined. Then the monitored rate-of-change of temperature is compared to a preselected rate-of-change of value. The monitoring of rate-of-change of temperature provides proactive means for preventing occurrence of an unacceptably high temperature in the catalytic reactor.