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Methane Venting From Ice Shelf
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Methane Venting From Ice Shelf

February 21, 2011
Methane is leaking from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf into the atmosphere at an alarming rate.

The permafrost of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (an area of about 2 million kilometers squared) is more porous than previously thought. The ocean on top of it and the heat from the mantle below it warm it and make it perforated like Swiss cheese. This allows methane gas stored under it under pressure to burst into the atmosphere. The amount leaking from this locale is comparable to all the methane from the rest of the world's oceans put together. Methane is a greenhouse gas more than 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide.