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Submission + - Arctic Methane Releases Could Be Larger Than Forec (

ColdWetDog writes: Methane released by warming Arctic permafrost has long been considered a wild card variable in climate change calculations. Since it is a more potent greenhouse gas than CO2, even relatively small increases in methane releases can cause significant changes in modeling results. Russian scientists who have been studying the Siberian off shore regions for years and now report unprecedented subsurface discharges of methane with 'torches' of methane bubbling up from structures up to a kilometer in diameter.

"In a very small area, less than 10,000 square miles, we have counted more than 100 fountains, or torch-like structures, bubbling through the water column and injected directly into the atmosphere from the seabed," Dr Semiletov said. "We carried out checks at about 115 stationary points and discovered methane fields of a fantastic scale – I think on a scale not seen before. Some plumes were a kilometre or more wide and the emissions went directly into the atmosphere – the concentration was a hundred times higher than normal."

Given that current climate data is indicating that the consensus models may be underestimating the rate and extent of climate change, additional rapid rises of another greenhouse gas may foretell faster and more dramatic changes than are currently being envisioned. Hold on to your butts.

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