Is the ocean leaking methane?
Remember an article of ours that discussed some seriously mysterious craters in Siberia? If you recall, the theory behind the creation of those craters is gas that was trapped beneath the ground, gas that was released due to climate change and global warming. It’s still unknown as to what really caused the craters, but the “climate change” theory is looking more promising with the scientific discovery of methane leaks on from the ocean floor.
Scientists have found that these leaks have been appearing on America’s eastern seaboard in a 94,000-square-kilometer area that spans from North Carolina to Massachusetts. Unfortunately, the amount of leaks is numerous; around 570 separate plumes of bubbles were flowing from the Atlantic Ocean’s floor and even though it’s not official yet, it’s looking like the bubbles could contain methane.
The study the scientists completed and published in Nature Geoscience, reveals something interesting about where methane is found. Usually, methane leaks are found on methane reservoirs or above regions with active tectonic activity. But this study suggests that methane can actually be found in that particular area of the ocean.
The amount of gas released from the ocean floor is also startling. The amount of gas released isn’t more than the methane releases humans are doing themselves with industrial and agricultural businesses, but the scientists have given a guess that there could be about 30,000 more leaks like the one found in the Atlantic in existence worldwide. Climate change could also exacerbate these releases.
Will this study teach us to lay off of our self-destructive ways? Probably not. The pictures the scientists took of the leaks suggest that some of them have been active for many years, between hundreds to a thousand. However, it wouldn’t hurt to try to find different ways to reduce our effect on the climate.
What do you think about these methane leaks? Write your conclusions in the comment section.
Image: Mycatkins (Flickr Creative Commons)