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The Low Carbon Economy Ltd

19 Aug 2009 11:08:11

Methane escapes from sea bed

Methane escapes from sea bed
Climate change could be occurring faster at the Arctic sea bed than in any other location around the world, experts have claimed.

Researchers from Britain and Germany have found that methane is escaping from the bottom of the ocean off the coast of Norway in a place called Spitsbergen.

A study in Geophysical Research Letters revealed that more than 250 plumes of the greenhouse gas bubbles are seeping from the sea bed.

Professor Tim Minshull of the National Oceanography Centre at Southampton told the BBC: "We already knew there was some methane hydrate in the ocean off Spitsbergen and that's an area where climate change is happening rather faster than just about anywhere else in the world.

"There's been an idea for a long time that if the oceans warm, methane might be released from hydrate beneath the sea floor and generate a positive greenhouse effect."

In normal circumstances, methane gas is trapped as an ice-like substance called methane hydrate under the ocean floor.



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