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Methane frozen beneath Arctic seabed destabilising

March 7, 2010

Full Article at: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7050312.ece

Huge quantities of methane below the Arctic seabed are showing signs of destabilising, according to research conducted in the East Siberian Sea.

Scientists aboard Russian icebreakers have discovered that methane is leaking from the sub-sea permafrost far faster than had been previously estimated, raising concerns that climatic tipping points may have been reached.

As a greenhouse gas, methane is 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide but emissions from subsea permafrost are not included in climate change prediction models.

“The sub-sea permafrost should act as a cap or seal, preventing leakage,” Natalia Shakhova, of the University of Alaska, told The Times. “Beneath it there is methane that has accumulated at high pressure. But the permafrost is losing its ability to be an impermeable cap.”

Full Article at: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7050312.ece

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