Millions of tonnes of the potent greenhouse gas methane have apparently begun leaking from the seabed beneath wide areas of the Arctic Ocean, the British Independent reported on September 23.
Scientists on board the research ship Yakov Smirnitsky recently finished taking precise measurements of methane along Russia’s entire northern coastline. Conducted under the International Siberian Shelf Study 2008, the research revealed methane concentrations as much as 100 times background levels, with the largest anomalies tens of thousands of square kilometers in extent.
“We have found elevated levels of methane above the water surface and even more in the water just below”, researcher Dr Orjan Gustafsson of Stockholm University told the British Independent in an email. “It is obvious that the source is the seabed.”
In some places, the gas was evidently bubbling from the sea floor in volumes too great to be dissolved by the surrounding water. Echo-soundings detected “methane chimneys” reaching all the way to the surface.
Positive feedback cycle reached. Kyoto was way too little, way too late.
We're screwed. Time to hunker down and start considering national NZ survival in the face of a world losing, say, half its population.