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Originally posted by DJW001
Is it possible that they have reached the conclusion that global warming is desirable? Vladimir Putin is on record as having said: "Global warming would be good for Russia." Not only would Russia and Canada benefit agriculturally, but European nations, the United States and China would gain access to the resources currently inaccessible under the polar ice cap. In other words, is global warming INTENTIONAL?
A chunk of methane ice exposed to the air and ignited will burn until all of the methane in that ice has been consumed. Methane hydrates, however, require specific conditions of temperature and pressure to keep them contained within their ice cage. Reduce the pressure - for example, by reducing the sea level and the pressure of water above the deposit - or increased the temperature and the methane hydrate deposit becomes unstable and begins to release the trapped methane into the atmosphere.
That is a problem. Methane is a greenhouse gas. In fact, it is 21-23 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. When the methane trapped in the hydrate is released it expands by about 170 times. Methane is lighter than CO2, lighter than air. As a result it rises rapidly through the atmosphere up to the lower-density stratosphere. On the positive side methane remains in the atmosphere for only about 10-20 years. CO2 remains in the atmosphere for over 100 years.
Scientists studying global warming have long been seriously concerned about the possibility of large scale methane hydrate destabilization and methane release into the atmosphere. The greatest concern is about the large volumes of methane hydrates under the Arctic sea floor and that trapped in the vast permafrost zone surrounding the Arctic Ocean. That concern has now been heightened by recent discoveries of hundreds of methane plumes on the floor of the Arctic Ocean north of Norway and Siberia.  There is also evidence in pock-marked sea floors of large releases of methane plumes in the geological past.