7,000 underground gas bubbles poised to ‘explode’ in Arctic

7,000 underground gas bubbles poised to ‘explode’ in Arctic

SOURCE: Siberian Times and IFLS.com DATE: March 20, 2017 SNIP: Scientists have discovered as many as 7,000 gas-filled ‘bubbles’ expected to explode in Actic regions of Siberia after an exercise involving field expeditions and satellite surveillance, TASS reported. The total of 7,000 – reported by TASS – is startlingly more than previously known. Back in 2016, Siberia’s amusingly named Bely Island made headlines around the world after sections of its grassy landscape became somewhat bouncy. As it turned out, the island was leaking greenhouse gases at a remarkable rate. In fact, the air escaping from the ground there contained 100 times more methane and 25 times more carbon dioxide – the two most potent greenhouse gases by far – than the surrounding atmosphere. This time last year, just 15 of these near-surface, water-coated methane bubbles had been identified. Now, as reported by the Siberian Times, there are 7,000 of them. Considering that methane is incredibly flammable, it’s also likely that some of these bubbles will dramatically explode without much of a...
Massive Permafrost Thaw Documented in Canada, Portends Huge Carbon Release

Massive Permafrost Thaw Documented in Canada, Portends Huge Carbon Release

SOURCE: Inside Climate News DATE: February 28, 2017 SNIP: Huge slabs of Arctic permafrost in northwest Canada are slumping and disintegrating, sending large amounts of carbon-rich mud and silt into streams and rivers. A new study that analyzed nearly a half-million square miles in northwest Canada found that this permafrost decay is affecting 52,000 square miles of that vast stretch of earth—an expanse the size of Alabama. Permafrost is land that has been frozen stretching back to the last ice age, 10,000 years ago. As the Arctic warms at twice the global rate, the long-frozen soils thaw and decompose, releasing the trapped greenhouse gases into the air. Scientists estimate that the world’s permafrost holds twice as much carbon as the atmosphere. “Things have really taken off. Climate warming is now making that happen. It’s exactly what we should expect with climate change,” said Steven V. Kokelj, lead scientist on the Canadian mapping...