Warmer Ocean May Be Releasing Methane Bubble Plumes Near Washington

Posted: Oct 15 2015, 7:22am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

Warmer Ocean may be Releasing Methane Bubble Plumes near Washington
Sonar image of bubbles rising from the seafloor off the Washington coast. The base of the column is 1/3 of a mile (515 meters) deep and the top of the plume is at 1/10 of a mile (180 meters) depth. / Credit: Brendan Philip/University of Washington
  • Release of Bubbles of Noxious Methane Gas near Washington may spell Trouble

The release of bubbles of noxious methane gas near Washington and Oregon may spell trouble. Some say this is a consequence of the climatic change which has become so prevalent nowadays.

Toxic levels of methane gas appear to be coming out of vents in the ocean floor. This spectacle is taking place off the coast of Washington and Oregon. There are those who claim that the heating of the oceans is causing this hazardous phenomenon.

Less than a mile below the surface of the ocean floor, the hot temperatures cause plumes of noxious methane gas to be released time after time.

In the marine depths, the frozen methane lumps undergo meltdown and thus, the gas is spewed out from the crevices in the ocean floor. And everybody knows that methane gas is a greenhouse pollutant.

Methane is 23 times as deadly as far as global warming is concerned than the relatively benign carbon dioxide. The resultant heat that gets concentrated in the atmosphere may cause a melting of the polar ice caps.

Since the past decade or so, a number of methane plumes have escaped from the ocean floor. At least 168 such gaseous events have been recorded so far.

Methane hydrate is warmed at a critical depth and the gases then arise from the subterranean areas like long-forgotten ghosts. The important thing is that methane is not trapped in the sedimentary layers of the earth.

Rather, it is frozen and undergoes sufficient warming to be released in gaseous form into the atmosphere. This methane gas has been responsible for wild fluctuations in the earth’s temperatures in the past. And it might cause tempestuous climatic conditions in the future too if we are not careful.

The Arctic permafrost will undergo a change in its state thanks to this conundrum we find ourselves in. And the areas off the Atlantic Coast will get transformed willy-nilly.

Out of the 168 plumes of methane gas that were recorded, 14 were located at a transition depth meaning that the danger to the atmosphere from these key vents was immense. We have to put an end to our polluting ways if we don’t want to see mass extinctions on planet earth.

0.1 metric tons of methane could get released into the atmosphere if things continue in their present state of runaway pollution. The biological webs of the localities are already being affected. Something needs to be done and fast.

The study published in the journal of Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
Sumayah Aamir (Google+) has deep experience in analyzing the latest trends.




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