One of the more prevalent dangers posed by the accelerated warming of the Arctic is the release of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, from thawing permafrost. A team of Russian scientists from the Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) have reported discovering at least two powerful methane plumes rising from the floor
A new crater has been blasted into the Siberian tundra by the violent release of a massive pocket of methane gas that had accumulated beneath the surface of the earth. While the massive 165-foot hole is not the first to have been found to have been formed in this manner, it is one of the first to have a witness to the explosion that created it.
The continued thawing of Arctic permafrost is causing the accelerated release of previously-trapped methane deposits, as evidenced by both satellite imagery and findings made by field researchers in Siberia. Accumulated after having been produced by biological activity, these methane deposits have been frozen in the permafrost for millennia and are being released as the Arctic steadily warms due to climate change.
Despite the retreat of Arctic sea ice not being as pronounced so far this summer as it has been in previous years, a massive heat wave is forecast to move over the Arctic soon, threatening to hasten this season’s ice melt.
According to emerging threats expert and sea ice analyst Robertscribbler, a combination of the heat from this year’s building El Niño being carried further north by the circumpolar jetstream, and a high-pressure system building over Greenland, are forecast to provide higher than normal temperatures, threatening to increase the rate of sea ice melt in the north.