Extraordinary and unexpected clouds of methane gas which is a greenhouse gas and is 20 times more intoxicating than carbon dioxide gas has been found bubbling at the surface, by a few scientists who were there to explore and take survey in the Arctic Ocean.
The head of the Russian team who was surveying there was surprised by the extent and quantity if the methane gas. This team has been taking several surveys in the seabed of East Siberian Arctic Shelf off northern Russia for about 20 years. In an interview, Igor Semiletov who is working at the Russian Academy of Sciences said that he has witness such a thing for the first time in his work career, and he has never seen methane gas being released with such a force and large scale.
Experts are of the opinion that this is the first time that we have located reserves of methane gas on such a large scale, which is continues and very forceful. The structures found in the past were only about ten meters in diameter, while this one is about 1000 meters in diameter, which is really an amazing thing to witness. As stated by Dr. Semiletov, that he was overwhelmed by the large scale and high density of the gas.
According to recent researches, scientists are of the view that there are million of tones of methane gas which is locked beneath the Arctic sea. These reserves are spread from the mainland into the seabed of East Siberian shelf. The thing which is of main concern at the moment is the threat to environment and ozone layer. This threat is due to the mass leakage of methane gas in summers during which the temperature will rise rapidly and melt the Siberian permafrost.
A report published in 2010 states that around eight million tones of methane gas will be released every year, but latest study claims that this is a very low figure and in reality the release of gas will be far more than these figures.
According to Dr.Semilitov, there are more than 100 fountains in an area of 10000 square miles spraying out and bubbling through the water. These are injecting methane gas directly into the atmosphere from the bed of the sea. Various expeditions have shown that more than 115 points have been discovered which were releasing methane gas at a very mass scale, which has never been seen before. Some of these points were more than a kilometer wide and the gas released was hundred times higher than the normal range. These findings have been made to public in the Americal Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco.