Russian Scientists Registered a Record Methane Emission in the Arctic
OREANDA-NEWS. Record emissions of methane into the atmosphere were recorded in the waters of the Russian part of the Arctic. It was reported on October 7 at the Tomsk Polytechnic University. The scientists of this establishment with their colleagues from a number of Russian research centers and universities, are currently on expeditions in the Northern seas.
In September, about 80 scientists from Russia, China and Sweden went on an expedition on the Akademik Keldysh research vessel to assess the environmental and biochemical consequences of underwater permafrost melting in the Eastern Arctic seas and along the Northern Sea Route. The researchers planned, in particular, to look for large emissions of methane greenhouse gas, which can significantly affect the planet’s climate.
The ship sailed towards the part of the East Siberian Sea, where gas fountains, called seeps, had been discovered earlier. The underwater permafrost melts, and a large amount of methane rises to the surface of the water. It turned out that a very powerful methane emission exists. The area of the fountain is 4–5 square meters.
The expedition members saw a large spot of emerald color upon the dark water. Approaching it, they saw how gas rises from the depths of the sea to the surface along thousands of bubble tracks.
The head of the expedition, the professor of Tomsk University and corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Igor Semiletov noted that the concentration of methane in the air amounted to 16 ppm (parts per million), which is nine times higher than the average planetary values. “This is the most powerful seep of all that I have ever observed,” the scientist said. According to him, no one has ever registered anything like this earlier.