23 Sep 2008:
Numerous Methane `Chimneys’
Discovered by Vessel in Russian Arctic
Scientists surveying the Arctic Ocean above Russia have discovered extensive areas where large quantities of methane
, long trapped in sub-sea permafrost, are being released, raising concerns that the rapidly warming Arctic is starting to churn out this potent greenhouse gas. In recent weeks, an international team of researchers aboard a Russian vessel has traveled along much of Russia’s northern coast, discovering significant releases of methane across thousands of square miles. The methane concentrations have sometimes been 100 times greater than background levels. So much methane has been rising from the sea floor in certain spots that it has caused the sea to foam above so-called methane chimneys, according to Orjan Gustafson of Stockholm University. Several recent studies have detected high concentrations of methane above the Arctic Ocean, leading scientists to hypothesize that melting permafrost on the sea floor is allowing stores of methane — locked up since before the last ice age — to bubble into the atmosphere. Methane has 20 times the heat-trapping capacity of carbon dioxide.
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A look at how acidifying oceans could threaten the Dungeness crab, one of the most valuable fisheries on the U.S. West Coast. Watch the video.
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An aerial view of why Europe’s per capita carbon emissions are less than 50 percent of those in the U.S. View the photos.
An indigenous tribe’s deadly fight to save its ancestral land in the Amazon rainforest from logging. Learn more.
video series looks at the staggering amount of food wasted in the U.S. – a problem with major human and environmental costs. Watch the video.
Residents of the Chocó Rainforest in Ecuador are choosing to plant cacao over logging in an effort to slow deforestation.
Watch the video.
Tribal people and ranchers join together to stop a project that would haul coal across their Montana land. Watch the video.