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Study Finds Surprising Arctic Methane Emission Source

fishmike (2603731) writes | more than 2 years ago

Earth 1

fishmike writes "The fragile and rapidly changing Arctic region is home to large reservoirs of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. As Earth's climate warms, the methane, frozen in reservoirs stored in Arctic tundra soils or marine sediments, is vulnerable to being released into the atmosphere, where it can add to global warming. Now a multi-institutional study by Eric Kort of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., has uncovered a surprising and potentially important new source of Arctic methane: the ocean itself."
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Doh! (1)

LeadSongDog (1120683) | more than 2 years ago | (#39774589)

"By comparing locations of the enhanced methane levels with airborne measurements of carbon monoxide, water vapor and ozone, they pinpointed a source: the ocean surface, through cracks in Arctic sea ice and areas of partial sea ice cover. The cracks expose open Arctic seawater, allowing the ocean to interact with the air, and methane in the surface waters to escape into the atmosphere. The team detected no enhanced methane levels when flying over areas of solid ice."

Some rocket science here! It seems that bubbles get into the atmosphere easier when there's no ice in the way. Most of us could have told them that without needing a highly-instrumented aircraft...

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