posted on Jan, 18 2012 @ 02:31 PM
reply to post by Essan
I am not seeing how the media reports have "greatly distorted this report", unless you mean greatly under reported this situation.
Here what Dr Shakhova said in the interview.
NS: I believe that the non-gradual (massive, abrupt) emission mode exists for a variety of reasons. First, wherever in the World Ocean such
methane outgassing releases from decaying hydrates occur, they appear to be torch-like with emission rates that change by orders of magnitude within
just a few minutes. Note that there was no additional seal such as permafrost to restrict emissions for hundreds of thousands of years anywhere in the
World Ocean. Imagine what quantity of methane has been stored beneath sub-sea permafrost if even now, when the permeability of permafrost is still
limited, the amount of methane annually escaping from the ESAS is equal to that escaping from the entire World Ocean. Another important factor is that
conversion of hydrates to free gas leads to a significant increase in the gas pressure. This highly-pressurized gas exerts a geological power that
creates its own gas migration pathways (so-called “chimneys” within sediments). It is even more important to understand that the nature of the
permafrost transition from frozen to unfrozen is such that this physical process is not always gradual: the phase transition itself appears to be a
relatively short, abrupt transformation, like opening a valve. Remember that the gas “pipeline” is highly pressurized. There could be several
different triggers for massive releases: a seismic or tectonic event, endogenous seismicity caused by sediments subsiding pursuant to hydrate decay,
or sediment sliding on the shelf break; the shelf slope is very steep, and the sedimentation rates are among the highest in the ESAS. As for the
amount that could possibly be released, this estimate represents only a small fraction of the total amount of methane believed to be stored in the
ESAS (3.5% of 1400 Gt). Because these emissions occur from extremely shallow water, methane could reach the atmosphere with almost no alteration; the
time scale of such releases would largely depend on the spatial distribution and capacity of the gas migration pathways.
What is obvious from reading the article is that a great deal more research needs to be done, to find the extent of these releases. We are spending a
lot of money monitoring the sky for possible large meteor strikes, when we have a more dangerous ticking time bomb in the Arctic shelf.
The article points out that these pressurized methane pools are located near where there are also oil deposits, and the Oil Industry is marching ahead
at full speed ahead to drill in these areas. That is insane.
edit on 18-1-2012 by poet1b because: add link