Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Ta Ra Ra BOOM Deeay! Part 2

From Robertscribbler's article "Large Methane Plumes Discovered on Laptev Continental Slope Boundary: Evidence of Possible Methane Hydrate Release":

Over the past few years, the Arctic has been experiencing an invasion.

Emerging from the Gulf Stream, a pulse of warmer than normal water propagated north past Iceland and into the Barents Sea. There, it dove beneath the surface fresh water and retreating sea ice, plunging to a depth of around 200-500 meters where it concentrated, lending heat to the entire water column. Taking a right hand turn along the Siberian Continental Shelf, it crossed through the mid water zones of the Kara. Finally, it entered the Laptev and there it abutted against the downward facing slopes of the submarine continental region.

As the water temperatures at these depths warmed, researchers began to wonder if they would trigger the destabilization of methane hydrate stores locked  in deeper waters along the shelf boundary. And, now, a new expedition may have uncovered evidence that just such an event is ongoing.
And here's a photo of methane bubbles bubbling up from the slope itself!

Source: Stockholm University via Robertscribbler.

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