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Posted Tue Apr 24 2012: from The Independent:
New climate threat as methane rises from cracks in Arctic ice
A new source of methane - a greenhouse gas many times more powerful than carbon dioxide - has been identified by scientists flying over areas in the Arctic where the sea ice has melted.... Eric Kort of Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said that he and his colleagues were surprised to see methane levels rise so dramatically each time their research aircraft flew over cracks in the sea ice. "When we flew over completely solid sea ice, we didn't see anything in terms of methane. But when we flew over areas were the sea ice had melted, or where there were cracks in the ice, we saw the methane levels increase," Dr Kort said. "We were surprised to see these enhanced methane levels at these high latitudes. Our observations really point to the ocean surface as the source, which was not what we had expected," he said. "Other scientists had seen high concentrations of methane in the sea surface but nobody had expected to see it being released into the atmosphere in this way," he added.
[Read more stories about: arctic meltdown, methane release, feedback loop, holyshit]
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