Thursday, December 15, 2011

Kilometer-sized Methane Bubbles Seen in Arctic Ocean

Russian scientists have reported sighting large amounts of methane coming to the surface out in the Arctic Ocean:
In an exclusive interview with The Independent, Igor Semiletov, of the Far Eastern branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said that he has never before witnessed the scale and force of the methane being released from beneath the Arctic seabed.

"Earlier we found torch-like structures like this but they were only tens of metres in diameter. This is the first time that we've found continuous, powerful and impressive seeping structures, more than 1,000 metres in diameter. It's amazing," Dr Semiletov said. "I was most impressed by the sheer scale and high density of the plumes. Over a relatively small area we found more than 100, but over a wider area there should be thousands of them." 
Semiletov spoke at this year's AGU meeting earlier this month, but here's an AGU blog posting from almost two years ago where he also reported surprising rates of methane emissions. It includes this interview of his colleague Natalia Shakhova:

Last month I blogged about a paper that found a resumed increase in atmospheric methane levels at two sites in Europe.

1 comment:

Dano said...

I was hoping I'd be older when this started happening.

BTW, thanks for dumping the carbon counter widget.