The_Post_Peak_Oil_Historian (cid_yama) wrote,
The_Post_Peak_Oil_Historian
cid_yama

Climate-changing methane 'rapidly destabilizing' off East Coast, study finds

A changing Gulf Stream off the East Coast has destabilized frozen methane deposits trapped under nearly 4,000 square miles of seafloor, scientists reported Wednesday. And since methane is even more potent than carbon dioxide as a global warming gas, the researchers said, any large-scale release could have significant climate impacts.

Temperature changes in the Gulf Stream are "rapidly destabilizing methane hydrate along a broad swathe of the North American margin," the experts said in a study published Wednesday in the peer-reviewed journal Nature.

The team worries that other areas around the globe might be seeing a similar destabilization.

"It is unlikely that the western North Atlantic margin is the only area experiencing changing ocean currents," they noted. "Our estimate ... may therefore represent only a fraction of the methane hydrate currently destabilizing globally."

The wider destabilization evidence, co-author Ben Phrampus told NBC News, includes data from the Arctic and Alaska's northern slope in the Beaufort Sea.

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/10/24/14670511-climate-changing-methane-rapidly-destabilizing-off-east-coast-study-finds?lite
Tags: ele, extinction level event, methane, runawayglobalwarming
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