Major Methane Spikes From Warming Sea Beds Are Compounding a Vastly Underestimated Climate Change Challenge

by dtlange

2014: earthly methane stores, warming seas, Arctic ice loss, and major climate destabilization.

Climate Solutions and Analysis

Methane spikes from warming sea bed floors have caused recent arctic atmospheric methane levels to temporarily increase by an amount equal to or higher than the entire percentage concentration of methane found in the atmosphere before the industrial revolution.

This occurred in September of last year as well, when methane levels spiked to over 2500 ppb in the arctic.

A couple of days ago, atmospheric concentrations of methane over the arctic region reached 2666 ppb.

This happens when shallow sea bed areas – previously essentially frozen solid for hundreds of thousands if not more years – warm up and thaw sufficiently to release methane otherwise tightly held in frozen clathrates along much of the upper ocean shelf sea bed floor.

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How does this happen?

Each year, on average, less and less arctic sea ice – which in the past has dwindled during late summers somewhat but for the…

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