Reposted from Arctic News Methane formed by organisms in the water becomes trapped in the fabric of water ice crystals when it freezes and is stable below about 300 meters depth in the Arctic Ocean and on the shallow East Arctic Siberian Shelf. There are such massive methane reserves below the Arctic Ocean floor, that they represent around 100 times the amount that is required to cause a Permian style major extinction event, should the subsea Arctic methane be released in a short period of time into the atmosphere (Light and Solana, 2012-2014, Carana 2012 – 2014). There are also giant reservoirs of mantle methane, originally sealed in by shallow methane hydrate plugs in fractures cutting the Arctic seafloor (Light 2014, Carana 2013).
If only a few percent of the subsea methane hydrate reserves in the Arctic Ocean (some 1000 billion tons of Carbon) is dissociated and the methane is released into the atmosphere, it will cause total deglaciation and a major extinction event (Light and Solana 2002). The energy necessary to produce these Arctic methane release rates is relatively small; it requires only about one thousandth of the heat energy input from the Gulf Stream to dissociate the methane hydrates (Figure 30). Furthermore, the energy necessary to produce these Arctic methane release rates represents less than one millionth of the global warming heat energy being added to the oceans, ice, land and atmosphere by human fossil fuel burning (Figure 30). Unfortunately for us, global warming has heated up the oceanic currents fed by the Gulf Stream flowing into the Arctic, causing massive destabilization of the subsea methane hydrates and fault seals and releasing increasing volumes of methane directly into the atmosphere. The total human induced global warming is equivalent to 4 Hiroshima atomic bombs detonating every second (Nuccitelli et al. 2012). Humanity has signed its death warrant and our final extinction will be carried out by Mother Earth within the next 30 to 40 years unless we immediately take extremely drastic action to entirely curb our carbon dioxide pollution, eliminate large quantities of methane from the subsea Arctic Ocean, seawater and atmosphere (down to ca 673 – 700 ppb) and revert completely to renewable energy.
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