Methane in The Arctic May Accelerate Global Warming

It almost seems like it’s becoming a perpetual problem now. Global warming is causing Arctic ice to melt, the melting ice is allowing methane gas (a greenhouse gas) to be released from the sea floor, which in turn leads to more global warming.

Scientists have recently discovered a huge amount of methane gas being released from the sea just north of Siberia. This gas, is seemingly being released from an area that was previously frozen. Subsea permafrost can no longer hold back the gas that it would normally seal in the sea floor.

The issue however, is that scientists aren’t sure if the gas release is new, or has been occurring unnoticed for centuries. Did global warming cause this? Or is this gas release natural?

According to the study, the area is releasing about 8 million tons of methane gas per year. To give you an idea of how much that is, it’s about the same amount that scientists had assumed was being released from all of the world’s oceans combined.

Is this a big deal? Well, compared to the global emissions of about 440 tons, no. But it should still be monitored to determine whether or not it’s getting worse.

What does this all mean to the average person?

It means that we’re seeing warning signs. Small things happening in scattered places around the world that we need to keep our eye on. What else does this mean? It means that we’re in a critical moment right now where we should realize that we need to take action to cut our greenhouse gas emissions.

Methane gas is only second to carbon dioxide when it comes to problems that we’ve created for ourselves.

There is a lot of methane gas trapped beneath the sea floor, and with global warming, much of it could be disturbed and released which could worsen the symptoms we’re already seeing. 60 percent of all methane released comes from human activity. We can change our habits and the way we interact with our planet to offset and eventually stop global warming all together.

These problems may seem irrelevant, slow moving, or even problems the future can handle, but they’re not. They’re real, they’re here, and they have to be handled by us, today.

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