Gallery D

Scary Implications

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Siberian Methane Explosion!

By James Donahue

Some researchers are expressing alarm over a giant hole . . . the size of a football field . . . found on Siberia’s remote Yamal peninsula bordering the Laptev Sea. They are found evidence that the hole was caused by an underground explosion of a large bubble of methane mixed with salt and water caused by a warming of the frozen tundra.

The crater is found to be about 300 feet deep. Frozen water can be seen at the bottom so it may be even deeper.

The blast, the first of its kind ever recorded, may have profound implications about the stability of the Arctic methane and what effects climate change is having on it.

Anna Kurchatova, of the Sub-Arctic Scientific Research Center, suggests there are vertical accumulations of salt where the methane ice formed in the permafrost. As the land warms and things melt below the surface, we may experience more sudden releases of methane. The entire area may become dangerously unstable in the months ahead.

Her warning is predicated on the recent observations of methane bubbles in the Laptev Sea, which may be the beginning of the release of a massive amount of subsea methane. The methane was created by rotting forests that existed in the area millions of years ago. It has remained trapped under the arctic ice.

Methane is another greenhouse gas, only it is more intense than carbon dioxide. It not only traps more heat, but it is highly flammable. This means that if enough methane drifts close to a flame or spark, it can ignite. No one knows how much methane we are dealing with, or what its effects will be on the world’s climate and its atmosphere in the months and years ahead.

Harold Hansel, a researcher who recorded the high levels of methane escaping from the Laptev Sea in November, 2013, also says he is alarmed by this new development.

In a story posted in Climate Change SOS, Hansel said:
“I am fighting for the lives of my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren who’s lifespan may extend 30 to 40 years from now. I am also fighting for all children of the world, animals, whales, dolphins, flowers and all living things. They are all in peril and we are the ones that may have a chance of doing something about it now. The threat of what is coming must sink in.”

Hansel said he has been watching for additional evidence of methane instability in Siberian sediments to validate his concerns about the danger of a rapid release of methane. Such a release is so much more potent than CO2 he believes it “could destabilize the climate. I am afraid that it has just been found.”