Chilling discovery: Arctic ice releases deadly greenhouse gas
Methane, a greenhouse gas 20 times more powerful than carbon dioxide, has been found by scientists in deadly, bubbling plumes on the surface of the Arctic Ocean.
The scientists, who were undertaking an extensive survey of the area, were utterly bewildered by the scale and volume of the methane. In particular, the head of the Russian research team studying the East Siberian Arctic Shelf's sea floor for 20 years was completely amazed.
Igor Semiletov, of the Far Eastern branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said he has never witnessed such a drastic uptick in methane. He released his findings a few weeks ago at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco, Calif.
"I was most impressed by the sheer scale and high density of the plumes," said Semiletov. "Earlier, we found torch-like structures like this, but those were only tens of meters in diameter. This is the first time that we've found continuous, powerful, and impressive seeping structures, more than 1,000 meters in diameter. Over a relatively small area, we found 100 [of them]; over a wider area, there should be thousands."
Semiletov went on to describe the methane as "fountains bubbling through the water column and injected directly into the atmosphere from the seabed."
FOR THE FULL ARTICLE CLICK HERE: Chilling discovery: Arctic ice releases deadly greenhouse gas » peoplesworld