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Methane Release

Siberia feels the earth move

Enormous gas bubbles trapped underground are causing areas of grass in Siberia to tremble like trampolines, according to Jess Staufenberg in the Independent:

“Methane gas, which is twice as potent as carbon dioxide in warming the Earth’s atmosphere and is usually locked beneath permafrost, is reportedly being released as warmer weather causes the soil to thaw.”

Staufenberg reports that Russian Scientists on the remote Bely Island located off a northern peninsula in Siberia have been videoed prodding patches of earth which appear to bounce and wobble like an airbed.  This is evidence that methane that should be trapped beneath a deep layer of permafrost is now escaping at the surface; suggesting the start of a feared “methane time bomb”.

The threat has concerned climate scientists for decades, as it is seen as a dangerous feedback mechanism that could result in runaway global warming.  Massive volumes of methane are trapped beneath the Arctic permafrost, where – until now – they have been unable to escape into the atmosphere.  If, however, the permafrost melt that we have witnessed this year were to become the norm, then there is nothing to prevent a methane release that could render human attempts to curb greenhouse gas emissions almost meaningless.

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