The sound of running water has long been associated with positive health benefits, and the appealing sound of a babbling brook can be found on many recordings intended to aid relaxation and induce sleep. No countryside picnic is complete without the sweet singing of a shallow stream somewhere nearby, and water features that emulate the delicate rippling of water rivulets over rocks are popular additions to gardens all over the world.

Unfortunately new research suggests that the bubbles coming from freshwater sources may be a key and currently unaccounted for source of methane, the second-largest greenhouse gas contributor to human-driven global climate change.
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The thinning of the north polar cap has been a concern of scientists for years, but this summer it appears that the ice is thinning fastest at its center, right around the pole itself. This is unexpected and unprecedented and could lead to an ice-free arctic much sooner than expected. Most scientists did not expect such an event to take place for another 10 to 30 years. The more open ocean there is over the arctic, the less heat is reflected and the more methane is released from underwater methane hydrates and melting permafrost. Methane is 30 times more efficient a heat trap than CO2.read more

Methane is bubbling out of the bottoms of Arctic lakes, to the extent that, if you put a match to the surface of one of them, they catch on FIRE.

Some of it seems to be coming–not from the bottom mud–but from deeper geologic reservoirs that contain hundreds of times more methane than is in the atmosphere now. Due to Arctic melt, this methane–which has been safely secured by a covering of permafrost in the past, is now bubbling up to the surface, leaving open holes big enough to be seen from an airplane.
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Permafrost is thawing all over the planet, and this releases the powerful greenhouse gas methane. Permafrost covers nearly a quarter of the northern hemisphere and may contain as much as 1,700 gigatons of carbon, which is twice the amount that is currently in the atmosphere. As it thaws, it could push global warming past one of the key "tipping points" that scientists believe could lead to runaway climate change.
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