Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Smell the methane

By Michael J.W. Stickings

I haven't blogged much recently about global warming, but that's only because my attention has been elsewhere. I still consider it the most pressing crisis of our time. Yes, absolutely, health care is a crisis in the U.S., and Islamist terrorism and nuclear proliferation remain serious global crises, and of course there is the current economic crisis, but there won't be much of a world left if temperatures and atmospheric carbon dioxide levels continue to rise at a rate dramatically inflated by human activity.

Here's yet another alarming discovery:

Scientists say they have evidence that the powerful greenhouse gas methane is escaping from the Arctic sea bed.

Researchers say this could be evidence of a predicted positive feedback effect of climate change.

As temperatures rise, the sea bed grows warmer and frozen water crystals in the sediment break down, allowing methane trapped inside them to escape.

The research team found that more than 250 plumes of methane bubbles are rising from the sea bed off Norway.


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