This photo was taken by Eric Kort, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in the Arctic Ocean north of Alaska, USA, on May 21st, 2012.
“These cracks in sea ice reveal a surprising and potentially important source of methane: the Arctic Ocean,” states Sarah Simpson.
Methane’s ability to exacerbate global warming means that realistic climate projections depend on understanding all of its sources. Arctic ecologists have known for years that huge reservoirs of methane are frozen in permafrost soils, and strong evidence has revealed the gas escaping into the atmosphere from thawing permafrost and bubbling Arctic lakes. A recent study documented hundreds of thousands of methane seeps under glaciers in Alaska and Greenland.
Learn more about this nature phenomenon on Discovery News.
- Sergey Zimov: Leaking Siberian ice raises a tricky climate issue
- Arctic News Digest, June 23, 2010. By George Lessard.
- Yakutsk Permafrost Institute: Why did climate changes not affect permafrost in Yakutia?
- The Arctic Shifts to a New Climate Pattern in Which “Normal” Becomes Obsolete
- It’s #IcePhoto Wednesday with Polar Explorer Eric Larsen