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Still Waters

First active leak of sea-bed methane found

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Still Waters

The first active leak of methane from the sea floor in Antarctica has been revealed by scientists.

The researchers also found microbes that normally consume the potent greenhouse gas before it reaches the atmosphere had only arrived in small numbers after five years, allowing the gas to escape.

Vast quantities of methane are thought to be stored under the sea floor around Antarctica. The gas could start to leak as the climate crisis warms the oceans, a prospect the researchers said was “incredibly concerning”.

The reason for the emergence of the new seep remains a mystery, but it is probably not global heating, as the Ross Sea where it was found has yet to warm significantly. The research also has significance for climate models, which currently do not account for a delay in the microbial consumption of escaping methane.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jul/22/first-active-leak-of-sea-bed-methane-discovered-in-antarctica

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seanjo

Why would sea temperature affect gas within the earth, surely seismic activity is what should be feared...

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Essan
15 minutes ago, seanjo said:

Why would sea temperature affect gas within the earth, surely seismic activity is what should be feared...

The methane is frozen on the seabed.   If the sea temperature rises it defrosts ....

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seanjo
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Essan said:

The methane is frozen on the seabed.   If the sea temperature rises it defrosts ....

Pretty sure the sea isn't at 91 kelvin, -182 celsius even in the antarctic...

I think what is keeping it in place is permafrost which, when it melts, lets pockets of methane out.

Edited by seanjo

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Doug1029
3 hours ago, seanjo said:

Why would sea temperature affect gas within the earth, surely seismic activity is what should be feared...

Methane in the sea bed is frozen into a solid.  The solid melts as temps warm, releasing methane gas.

Doug

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seanjo
Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Doug1029 said:

Methane in the sea bed is frozen into a solid.  The solid melts as temps warm, releasing methane gas.

Doug

The temperature of the sea, anywhere on the planet, is not -182 Celsius. Where is your info from?

 

Unless you mean pockets of methane gas trapped in frozen water?

Edited by seanjo

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Doug1029
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, seanjo said:

The temperature of the sea, anywhere on the planet, is not -182 Celsius. Where is your info from?

 

Unless you mean pockets of methane gas trapped in frozen water?

Methane clathrate

boiling point:  -162 C

melting point:  -182.5 C

Add enough pressure, as in the deep sea, and the melting and boiling points rise.

Doug

Edited by Doug1029

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seanjo
19 hours ago, Doug1029 said:

Methane clathrate

boiling point:  -162 C

melting point:  -182.5 C

Add enough pressure, as in the deep sea, and the melting and boiling points rise.

Doug

At 15000 psi (pressure at the deepest part of the ocean) in -0.8 deg C (the temperature at the bottom of the antarctic ocean), methane is a gas.

http://www.peacesoftware.de/einigewerte/methan_e.html

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seanjo
7 hours ago, Essan said:

So basically it's methane trapped in ice under pressure that is released when the ice melts.

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Doug1029
Posted (edited)
55 minutes ago, seanjo said:

At 15000 psi (pressure at the deepest part of the ocean) in -0.8 deg C (the temperature at the bottom of the antarctic ocean), methane is a gas.

http://www.peacesoftware.de/einigewerte/methan_e.html

Now go 300 feet deeper, underneath tons of sea-floor mud.

You might find this educational.

https://geology.com/articles/methane-hydrates/

Doug

Edited by Doug1029
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seanjo
21 minutes ago, Doug1029 said:

Now go 300 feet deeper, underneath tons of sea-floor mud.

You might find this educational.

https://geology.com/articles/methane-hydrates/

Doug

And how is sea temperature going to affect that?

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Doug1029
2 minutes ago, seanjo said:

And how is sea temperature going to affect that?

There's a phase chart in the article that explains that nicely.  Increasing temps melt the clathrate, producing methane gas which eventually bubbles to the surface.

Methane blowouts are nothing new.  This one in Antarctica sounds like it has been around for a long time and that it was only recently discovered.  If that's the case, the ecosystem has already adapted to it so we don't need to worry.  The big question is how many more of these can the climate take?

Doug

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Jon the frog
22 hours ago, seanjo said:

The temperature of the sea, anywhere on the planet, is not -182 Celsius. Where is your info from?

 

Unless you mean pockets of methane gas trapped in frozen water?

Japanese are starting to excavate solid methane from the sea bed in the sea of Japan. They call it methane hydrate or methane clathrate https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Methane_clathrate

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TripGun

Long suspected in mysterious sinking of ships in certain triangles. Good to see it is a natural phenomenon but still not a welcome one.

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qxcontinuum
Posted (edited)

Well then harvest the damn thing. We need methane gas. The co2 resulted can feed trees if all the nations like Ireland and Scotland would decide to replant trees rather than keeping vaste lands the quality of air will increase. 

Edited by qxcontinuum
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Poncho_Peanatus

more allarmist wooo woooo

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