Methane Abounds in Arctic Seas; Might Intensify Global Warming

April 23, 2012 / 1 Comment

The Arctic Oceanhides more than what you thought it really does. A study by researches at the California Institute of  Tech (Caltech) has found that the ocean has higher levels of methane deposits.

Arctic Ocean Methane Abounds in Arctic Seas; Might Intensify Global Warming

Antarctica and the surrounding Southern Ocean themselves release large amounts of methane, a green house gas. As the Earth is warming up each day, the green house gas stored in the soil and submarine sea may get released to the atmosphere, which will, in turn, increase global warming.

Researchers traveled five times to Antarctica in 2009 and 2010 and found out increased quantity of methane while flying at altitudes as high as 82 degrees north.

The team detected no carbon dioxide in the atmosphere,  but found methane levels in the ocean surface, especially in the sea cracks or areas of partial sea cover.

The cracks in the sea water mingle with the air and allow the methane to escape into the atmosphere. Even though the methane level in the atmosphere is low, it is far more effective than carbon dioxide in locking the solar heat.

The study proved that methane concentration is in water, not on land. The biological production from the living creatures in the water may be a reason for the release of this methane.

The study  pointed out that that sea ice may melt and release more water, which will consequently produce more methane. This may increase the methane emissions, and global warming may intensify.