20 Dec '11, 5pm

Arctic Methane: Is Catastrophe Imminent?

Josh Haner/The New York Times Methane bubbling up from beneath a lake bed near Fairbanks, Alaska. In my article over the weekend about the climate risks from buried Arctic carbon, I omitted any discussion of one issue that sometimes appears in the news: methane deposits under relatively shallow seawater near the coasts of Siberia, Canada and Alaska. It was a purposeful omission because my piece focused on carbon buried on land, which presents a climate risk if it eventually emerges as methane or carbon dioxide. However, given the alarming headlines about methane in the ocean, as seen here and here for example, I did some additional reporting. What I learned about ocean methane was reasonably reassuring, with the caveat that scientists would like to know a great deal more about these deposits before declaring for certain that the hazard is minimal. On land in the Arctic and...

Full article: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/20/arctic-methane-...

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