The risk posed to the global climate by escaping reserves of methane from under melting Arctic ice may be bigger than originally thought, according to a new study.
The new research, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, claims that around 17 teragrams – or around 18.7m tonnes – of the greenhouse gas methane leaks from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf every year. These figures are around double the previous estimates.
Arctic permafrost traps methane as it rises from the Earth. Scientists have long expressed concern over the potential impacts of these stores of methane escaping at even faster rates as climate change causes permafrost to melt. It is feared that warming could cause a feedback loop – releasing methane that causes further warming which in turn releases more methane.
“We believe that release of methane from the Arctic, in particular, from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, could impact the entire globe, not just the Arctic alone”, Natalia Shakova, lead author of the study and a biogeochemist at the University of Alaska told LiveScience.
The significance of the Arctic methane threat has recently caused heated debate between scientists.
In July, a separate study claimed that the release of a single “pulse” of methane from beneath the East Siberian Sea could cost $60 trillion (£39 trillion) alone. The global economy in 2012 was $70 trillion.
The study, by researchers from the UK and the US, says a 50 gigatonne pulse of methane could be released between 2015 and 2025. As methane is 20 times more effective at trapping heat as carbon dioxide, the study claims this would accelerate global warming by anywhere between 15 to 35 years.
However, the research has provoked a scientific controversy. Gavin Schmidt, climate scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, took to Twitter to say the study was “misleading” and assumed an “unlikely” rapid increase in methane emissions.
In a 2008 report, the US Climate Change Science Programme also said that such a release appears “very unlikely”.
Shakova added that much more research is needed to properly understand the processes at work in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf: “Ten years ago we started from zero knowledge in this area. This is the largest shelf in the world’s oceans. That’s why it’s very challenging to understand the natural processes behind the methane emissions in this area.”
Like our Facebook Page
Can You Maximize Your Profits While Investing Ethically?
Environmental Benefits of Living in Miami. Why Is It Worth Moving There?
5 Ways To Shift To Green Energy At Home
Advantages of Free-Range Farming for Eco-Friendly Consumers
What is Eco-Friendly Investing and How Can You Embrace It?
Green Software Ideas to Implement with an Offshore Development Team
5 Things Eco-Conscious Consumers Should Know About Private Wells
The True Environmental and Social Costs of Mined Diamonds
20 Incredible Facts Eco-Tourists Should Know About Dubai
5 Massive Benefits of Turning to Renewable Energy
6 Tips For Getting the Most from a Solar-Powered Home
7 Excellent Ways to Live a Greener Lifestyle in 2021
How the Property Industry Is Embracing Eco-Friendliness Across the Board
Sustainability in Construction: Methods to Mitigate Environmental Impacts
New Company is Driving ESG Infrastructure Development in Mining
10 Tips to Turn Your Next Holiday into an Eco-Friendly Celebration
4 Benefits of Commuting with a Bicycle as an Eco-Friendly Consumer
Some Important Facts about Eco-Friendly Glass Railings
Impact Proof of Stake Ethereum Mining on Power Industry Sustainability
7 Business Survival Guidelines All Eco-Friendly Entrepreneurs Must Follow
- Features12 months ago
Eco-Friendly Interior Design Is Easier Than You Might Think
- Features10 months ago
Eco-Friendly Hacks To Create A Durable Shop For Your Home
- Energy6 months ago
Eco-Friendly Homeowners Lower Carbon Footprints through Greater Air Conditioner Efficiency
- Features5 months ago
Seven Health and Safety Tips for Eco-Friendly Products in a Green Home