Dramatic and unprecedented plumes of methane – a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide – have been seen bubbling to the surface of the Arctic Ocean by scientists undertaking an extensive survey of the region.
…Scientists estimate that there are hundreds of millions of tonnes of methane gas locked away beneath the Arctic permafrost, which extends from the mainland into the seabed of the relatively shallow sea of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf. One of the greatest fears is that with the disappearance of the Arctic sea-ice in summer, and rapidly rising temperatures across the entire region, which are already melting the Siberian permafrost, the trapped methane could be suddenly released into the atmosphere leading to rapid and severe climate change. >continue<
An assessment of more than 1,700 pre-development water samples taken in Pennsylvania’s Susquehanna County show that methane was present in 78 percent of them. The study also found the methane source isn’t the Marcellus shale play, from which natural gas is being extracted, but a gas-charged layer of sandstone that serves as the primary source for the region’s water wells.