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Thu Aug 30, 2012, 05:01 PM

Beneath Melting Antarctica, Powerful Greenhouse Gas Lurks

Published on Thursday, August 30, 2012 by Common Dreams
Beneath Melting Antarctica, Powerful Greenhouse Gas Lurks

Study suggests as much as 4 billion tons of methane sits beneath melting ice sheets

- Common Dreams staff

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/08/30

The carbon stored under Antarctic ice is on par with the amount held in the northern hemisphere’s frozen permafrost soils and the lower end of estimates for methane trapped under the Arctic Ocean, according to Jemma Wadham, professor of Glaciology at the U.K.’s University of Bristol and lead author of a study in the journal Nature yesterday.
(Photographer: Torsten Blackwood/AFP/Getty Images)



An enormous and previously unknown reservoir of potent methane—a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide—could be locked beneath the Antarctic ice sheet, a new study in the journal Nature warns.

The scientists behind the study calculate that as much as 4 billion tons of methane gas could exist beneath the ice, and that if the alarming rate of polar melting continues and the vast reserve escapes into the atmosphere, the feedback loop of climate change already underway would accelerate dramatically.

If the scientists are correct, these southern deposits would roughly match recent estimates of the amount of methane lurking beneath the northern Arctic ice sheets.

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Reply Beneath Melting Antarctica, Powerful Greenhouse Gas Lurks (Original post)
polly7 Aug 2012 OP
Zoeisright Aug 2012 #1
polly7 Aug 2012 #2
bemildred Aug 2012 #3

Response to polly7 (Original post)

Thu Aug 30, 2012, 05:10 PM

1. I'm glad I'm not any younger.

I feel sorry for anyone in their 20s and younger. Because it's not going to be good on planet earth in about 30 years.

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Response to Zoeisright (Reply #1)

Thu Aug 30, 2012, 05:14 PM

2. That's the truth.

When I think of the changes even during my lifetime to the environment directly around me, it nearly makes me cry. I am so afraid for these younger people.

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Response to polly7 (Original post)

Thu Aug 30, 2012, 05:25 PM

3. Yep, that's the one that freaks me out.

It's going to be like living at 12,000 feet all the time if that methane gets dumped in the atmosphere in a short period, and the West Antarctic ice sheet is not thought to be all that stable. Could raise the sea level a bit too ...

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