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Only a Matter of Time

The methane frozen in the ocean floor is a global warming time bomb. There may have been small leaks before, but now scientists say melting Arctic glaciers are releasing huge amounts of this potent gas into the atmosphere.

In BBC News, Judith Burns quotes researcher Tim Minshull as saying, "We already knew there was some methane hydrate in the ocean off Spitsbergen [a large Norwegian island] and that's an area where climate change is happening rather faster than just about anywhere else in the world."

Burns quotes geophysicist Graham Westbrook as saying, "If this process becomes widespread along Arctic continental margins, tens of megatons of methane a year, equivalent to 5-10% of the total amount released globally by natural sources, could be released into the ocean."

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