Friday, August 8, 2014

Methane Hydrate (2)

Here is a similar story, this time about frozen methane hydrate thawing and bubbling up from the sea: If the link doesn't work, please try copying and pasting into the browser search window. Here is a summary of the article: Vast methane plumes have been discovered boiling up from the seafloor of the Arctic ocean on the continental slope of the Laptev Sea by a dream team of international scientists. Over the last decade a warming tongue of Atlantic ocean water has been flowing along the Siberian Arctic ocean's continental slope destabilizing methane ice, hypothesize the team of Swedish, Russian and American scientists. The research team will take a series of measurements across the Siberian seas to attempt to understand and quantify the methane release and predict the effect of this powerful greenhouse gas on global and Arctic warming. Because the Siberian Arctic contains vast stores of methane ices and organic carbon that may be perturbed by the warming waters and Arctic climate, Arctic ocean and Siberian sea methane release could accelerate and intensify Arctic and global warming.

Is This the Answer?

There was a time when the island chain that includes Okinawa was part of the east coast of China. There was another time when most of the islands in the chain were submerged, and only the highest points kept their heads above water. Since there is no evidence of crustal movement that would send an island crashing to the bottom of the sea, the most likely cause of the changes in sea level is changes to the artctic/antarctic ice caps. It seems that another change is in the works. It is more than the simple melting of the ice. The melting of frozen strata of methane hydrate seems also to be involved. Here is news about methane hydrate from The Washington Post. (If the link doesn't work, please try copying and pasting into the browser search window) The article is about huge craters opening in the ground in Siberia, and the theory that the craters are the result of methane morphing out of its frozen state into a powerful gas--the kind of greenhouse gas that can accelerate global warming.