Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Permafrost meltdown means more methane

Climate scientists fear that warming Arctic temperatures are melting the permafrost and causing frozen vegetation in peat bogs and other areas to decay, releasing methane and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Environment - National Wildlife Magazine

Reaching up from the thawing ocean floor and continental shelves are methane chimneys that contain concentrations of methane 100x times higher than background levels. The Siberian Shelf covers more than 580,000 square miles. If this permafrost layer thaws, it will release 12x the amount of methane currently in the atmosphere.

Methane release off Siberian coast prompts concern over runaway climate change | Environment | guardian.co.uk
Yesterday, for the first time, we documented a field where the release was so intense that the methane did not have time to dissolve into the seawater but was rising as methane bubbles to the sea surface. These 'methane chimneys' were documented on echo sounder and with seismic [instrument].
Some good news is that the The Catlin Arctic Survey will soon start on their epic journey to measure the thickness and density of the permanent North Pole ice that floats in the Arctic Ocean. Read more about the survey here: Measuring Sea Ice on the Arctic Ocean.

1 comment:

Tom Usher said...

Solid post

I linked to it as an update to a post I had just done yesterday where your work here came in extremely handy on the methane point.

Bless your efforts,

Tom Usher
Real Liberal Christian Church


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