Dangerous Pockets of Methane Gas Discovered

Scientists along Russia's northern coast are reporting that methane, a greenhouse gas twenty times more potent than carbon dioxide, is being released into the atmosphere at an alarming new rate.
September 25, 2008, 1pm PDT | Mike Lydon
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"The first evidence that millions of tons of a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide is being released into the atmosphere from beneath the Arctic seabed has been discovered by scientists.

The Independent has been passed details of preliminary findings suggesting that massive deposits of sub-sea methane are bubbling to the surface as the Arctic region becomes warmer and its ice retreats.

Underground stores of methane are important because scientists believe their sudden release has in the past been responsible for rapid increases in global temperatures, dramatic changes to the climate, and even the mass extinction of species. Scientists aboard a research ship that has sailed the entire length of Russia's northern coast have discovered intense concentrations of methane – sometimes at up to 100 times background levels – over several areas covering thousands of square miles of the Siberian continental shelf."

Thanks to Dr. Matthew Hardy

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Published on Tuesday, September 23, 2008 in The Independent
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