In 1999 Whitley Strieber and Art Bell predicted that events like this were going to happen if we ignored the reality of climate change. A changing Gulf Stream off the East Coast has destabilized frozen methane deposits trapped under nearly 4,000 square miles of the seafloor, and since methane is even more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, any large-scale release like this could have a major impact on the climate.
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The Antarctic Ice Sheet may be a major source of the potent greenhouse gas methane. Old organic matter frozen beneath it may have been converted to methane by micro-organisms living there under oxygen-deprived conditions, and as the ice melts, the methane will be released.

Planetary scientist Slawek Tulaczyk says, "It is easy to forget that before 35 million years ago, when the current period of Antarctic glaciations started, this continent was teeming with life. Some of the organic material produced by this life became trapped in sediments, which then were cut off from the rest of the world when the ice sheet grew. Our modeling shows that over millions of years, microbes may have turned this old organic carbon into methane."
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