posted on Aug, 2 2014 @ 10:40 AM
A new article with recent data on what's currently going on in the arctic. The article has some great pictures and the research is still in progress.
Someone here, my apologies for forgetting his username but he has a caveman avatar) has a thread on methane from the oceans is much more
knowledgeable than me.
On July 22, 2014, chief scientist Örjan Gustafsson of the University of Stockholm wrote about the methane mega flare event in his blog. He wrote:
So, what have we found in the first couple of days of methane-focused studies?
1) Our first observations of elevated methane levels, about ten times higher than in background seawater, were documented already as we climbed up the
steep continental slope at stations in 500 and 250 meter depth. This was somewhat of a surprise. While there has been much speculation of the
vulnerability of regular marine hydrates [frozen methane formed due to high pressure and low temperature] along the Arctic rim, very few actual
observations of methane releases due to collapsing Arctic upper slope marine hydrates have been made. ¨
It has recently been documented that a tongue of relatively warm Atlantic water, with a core at depths of 200–600 meters may have warmed up some in
recent years. As this Atlantic water, the last remnants of the Gulf Stream, propagates eastward along the upper slope of the East Siberian margin, our
SWERUS-C3 program is hypothesizing that this heating may lead to destabilization of upper portion of the slope methane hydrates. This may be what we
now for the first time are observing.
2) Using the mid-water sonar, we mapped out an area of several kilometers where bubbles were filling the water column from depths of 200 to 500
meters. During the preceding 48 hours we have performed station work in two areas on the shallow shelf with depths of 60-70m where we discovered over
100 new methane seep sites. SWERUS-C3 researchers have on earlier expeditions documented extensive venting of methane from the subsea system to the
atmosphere over the East Siberian Arctic Shelf. On this Oden expedition we have gathered a strong team to assess these methane releases in greater
detail than ever before to substantially improve our collective understanding of the methane sources and the functioning of the system. This is
information that is crucial if we are to be able to provide scientific estimations of how these methane releases may develop in the future.
While not as long-lasting in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, methane is much more effective than carbon dioxide at trapping heat. Glaciologist Jason
Box, in a recent and fascinating blog post (Is the climate dragon awakening?) said:
Atmospheric methane release is a much bigger problem than atmospheric carbon dioxide release, since methane is ~20 times more powerful greenhouse