Methane pumps – new threat to planet earth

Climate change as a result of human activity is causing other problems on the planet besides those already known. There are explosions in the Arctic caused by methane gas leaks. These are the so-called methane pumps.

Methane pumps
New 50 meter deep crater in the arctic tundra – The Siberian Times – Photo by Vesti Yamal

They are formed from methane that seeps away between underground faults and forms cavities in the permafrost. Due to the melting of the ice sheet due to global warming, these cavities usually explode due to electrostatic discharge.

According to NASA, around 2 million eruptions have been detected in the Arctic over an area of ​​30,000 square meters. Moscow scientists called for the intervention of army personnel to release the methane and prevent the explosions.

Methane pumps threaten the Arctic

Russia is the main supplier of gas to Western Europe. If the explosions continue, supplies will be cut off. This country has already identified more than 400 methane-filled “packages” in Siberia and is considering “puncturing” them to avoid accidents.

Methane pumps
Funnel filmed by the Yamal-based television crew. Siberian Time – July 2020 Photo by Vesti Yamal

The situation is complicated because methane is a greenhouse gas and its release into the atmosphere only makes the problem worse. Therefore gas has to be pumped and stored. The work is quite difficult and can only be done by scientists who are experts in the field.

There are other gas leaks that are in lakes or in the ocean that are more difficult to channel. Methane gas is almost 25 times more dangerous than carbon dioxide. Their release can definitely accelerate climate change.

The South Atlantic is also threatened

The bad news is that a massive methane leak was discovered in the South Atlantic near the Brazilian coast last week. The reason for these leaks is the warming of the ocean water. Scientists from several Sweden-based countries assure it is the first time a methane release has been detected in the southern hemisphere. Like the leaks in the Arctic, it is a consequence of climate change.

South Atlantic
Expedition on the high seas in the western South Atlantic. Image: Liv Ravnböl-Linnaeus University

They are leaks that are created on the ocean floor and miles from the coast, making them difficult to control. All of this is feared to feed back the greenhouse effect when gas hydrates melt due to the rise in water temperature.

Gas hydrates are composed of an ice-like substance and form naturally on the sea floor at great depths. In particular, it is methane frozen with seawater that keeps the gas “encapsulated”.

Scientists estimate that this methane, frozen in marine sediments, contains the largest organic carbon deposit on earth. It is believed that there could be more fossil fuels. Because of this, there is great concern in the scientific community as it could exacerbate the global warming situation.

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