13 Dec '11, 7pm

Methane in the Arctic: the end of the world, or what?

Russian scientists have discovered that the Arctic is releasing hundreds, perhaps thousands , of enormous plumes of methane from the seafloor directly into earth's atmosphere. The scale and volume of the methane release has astonished the head of the Russian research team who has been surveying the seabed of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf off northern Russia for nearly 20 years. This has some people messing their drawers because it’s strongly reminiscent of what is probably the worst possible climate scenario imaginable, a feedback loop so humongous and destructive that it would lead to runaway warming that makes today's runaway warming look tame by comparison. The last time this happened, it poisoned 90 percent of all life on earth with hydrogen sulfide gas , in a process described by paleontologist Peter Ward as "life killing itself off. " Methane is an extremely powerfu...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/list/2011-12-13-methane-in-the-arcti...

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