Scientists continue to discover more and more of the powerful greenhouse gas escaping from the thawing Arctic
Scientists have found more than 150,000 sites in the Arctic where methane is seeping into the atmosphere, according to a report published Sunday in the journal Nature Geoscience.
Aerial and ground surveys in Alaska and Greenland revealed that many of the methane seeps are located in areas where glaciers are receding or permafrost is thawing as the climate warms, removing ice that has trapped the potent greenhouse gas in the ground.
Researchers at the University of Alaska and Florida State University say the amount of methane being released from the seeps now is relatively small but could grow in coming decades as climate change intensifies, shrinking the ice that has prevented ancient deposits of the heat-trapping gas from reaching the atmosphere.
“As permafrost thaws and glaciers retreat, it is going to let something out that has had a lid on it,” said lead author Katey Walter Anthony of the University of Alaska.
Scientists have long known of the existence of methane seeps in the Arctic, but the new study is one of the first to map them over large areas.
via Scientific American - Lauren Morello and ClimateWire
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