More on Methane

December 2, 2010

This week’s post of Katey Walters and the Flaming Lakes drew attention to one aspect of the methane feedback problem, the output from melting permafrost areas in northern Canada, Alaska and Siberia. Here are some videos from a variety of resources that illustrate the problem from different points of view.

First, from Greenpeace, a look at indiginous people whose lives are being impacted by climatic changes more extreme than in almost any other part of the world.

Next a nearly 3 year old video from Russia Today, that is nonetheless vivid in showing the effects of permafrost melt on the infrastructure of modern people living in the area.

And here, from BBC, another look from a team of scientists setting out to measure the dimensions of the problem.

and finally, Steven Chu himself and a succinct statement of the issue.

The problem is double edged. Underneath the Arctic Ocean, frozen in the continental shelf, are even larger sources of methane, frozen into a form of ice called Methane Hydrate. The general consensus seems to be that these hydrates will be stable through this century, due to the protective cold of arctic ocean waters. But some recent surveys of the area give reason for concern.

More on that in the next post.

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