Saturday, Dec 14 2019
All Cities
Choose Your City
'Not to offend the jealous admirers of the Volga, but I have never in my life seen a river more splendid than the Yenisey'
A.P. Chekhov, 1890

Bubble trouble for East Siberian Arctic Shelf

By The Siberian Times reporter
27 November 2013

New study warns of methane escaping from the sea floor due to degradation of submarine permafrost.

'Increasing storminess and rapid sea-ice retreat causing increased methane fluxes from the sea are a possible new climate-change-driven processes'. Picture:   resilientearth.com  

Scientists used sonar-derived observations of bubble flux and measurements of seawater methane levels to monitor the emission of methane from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf to the overlying ocean, reported a study published online this week in Nature Geoscience.

Large amounts of methane, generated by the degradation of submarine permafrost over thousands of years, are escaping the East Siberian Shelf, according to Natalia Shakhova from the University of Alaska and colleagues.

'Bubbles escaping from the sea floor carry large amounts of methane into the overlying ocean', it was reported. 'Furthermore, they observed that concentrations of methane in the sea water fell significantly following the passage of two storms, suggesting that storms help transport of methane to the atmosphere, where it acts as a potent greenhouse gas.'

Their findings 'have important implications for atmospheric emissions of methane from all Arctic seas that are underlain with subsea permafrost', state the authors. 'Increasing storminess and rapid sea-ice retreat causing increased methane fluxes from the sea are a possible new climate-change-driven processes.'

Vast quantities of carbon 'are stored in shallow Arctic reservoirs, such as submarine and terrestrial permafrost. 

'Submarine permafrost on the East Siberian Arctic Shelf started warming in the early Holocene, several thousand years ago. However, the present state of the permafrost in this region is uncertain.'

Samples were taken using 'measurements collected from a sediment core, together with sonar-derived observations of bubble flux and measurements of seawater methane levels'.

The temperature of the sediment core ranged from -1.80C to 00 C. 

'On the basis of the sonar data, we estimate that bubbles escaping the partially thawed permafrost inject 100-630mg methane into the overlying water column. We further show that water-column methane levels had dropped significantly following the passage of two storms. 

'We suggest that significant quantities of methane are escaping the East Siberian Shelf as a result of the degradation of submarine permafrost over thousands of years. We suggest that bubbles and storms facilitate the flux of this methane to the overlying ocean and atmosphere, respectively.'

Comments (3)

I suggest we must assume that the existing carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere is already so high, that, however urgent containing emissions (which is technologically straightforward) may be, we are now in the position that the sorcerer’s apprentice remedy of artificial sunshading, i.e. injecting a suitable form of reflective fine dust into the stratosphere above the Arctic ocean, will need to be applied as well.

Researchgate Aart Heesterman
Aart Heesterman, Birmingham, West Midlnds, U.K.
04/04/2019 23:47
0
0
I've only recently become aware of the work of Dr. Shakhova and her colleagues by videos posted to YouTube.
The subject deserves more research and media coverage.

Thank you for your article.
I'll share it with others.

Mick
Mick Lee, Sheboygan, WI USA
30/09/2017 20:49
0
0
Wow. Thank you for covering this information. I wish you would have talked about trends and maybe showed a graph or two but thanks.
Ravenken, USA
06/01/2017 01:54
0
0
1

Add your comment

We welcome a healthy debate, but do not accept offensive or abusive comments. Please also read 'Siberian Times' Privacy Policy

Name

Town/Country

Add your comments

The views expressed in the comments above are those of our readers. 'Siberian Times' reserves the right to pre-moderate some comments.

Control code*

Type the code

* obligatory


News

Business

The Bank of Russia official exchange rates of foreign currencies
EUR69.86USD62.55GBP83.85Other...