In the wake of the release of the worst methane release on record, experts are scrambling to understand the source and how it came to be in the North Sea.
The methane that is releasing into the Arctic has the potential to contribute to global warming, according to a report released by the US Geological Survey and NASA, and the findings could have significant impacts on global weather patterns.
The scientists, led by David Pogue of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, studied a mixture of natural gas and oil that was released into the North Pacific Ocean in 2016 by the North Slope gas field.
While the oil and gas has been linked to a wide range of phenomena, methane has been one of the most worrisome.
This gas is not an essential component of the methane cycle, and as a result, it has been shown to be a potent greenhouse gas.
Scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Hawaii studied the gas and found that methane released from the gas could be warming the planet by as much as 4 degrees Celsius (9 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of this century.
At this rate, this methane would raise temperatures by 1 degree Celsius (2.5 degrees Fahrenheit), which is equivalent to an increase in global average surface temperatures by about 0.5 degree Celsius.
This methane gas is released when natural gas is trapped in the ice sheet and thaws, but the process can take hundreds of thousands of years, which can have a profound impact on the climate.
“Methane is the primary greenhouse gas emitted from the North American Arctic, but it is also a potent component of methane cycles in the oceans,” Pogue said in a statement.
“The release of methane from the Arctic Ocean is the result of methane-trapped ice that has thawed, and is warming the climate by 4-6 degrees Celsius.”
This methane release has been blamed for the largest methane release in history, which is believed to have triggered a methane spike in the Arctic in late summer and fall of 2017.
In January, scientists from the University of Washington released methane from a natural gas pipeline in the waters off the Canadian coast and found it was not just methane that was being released.
Their findings were published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
“We found that a relatively small amount of methane was being produced in the upper waters, which was consistent with the amount of gas being released,” study lead author James E. Lagerquist said in the statement.
Lagerquist and his colleagues found the gas was coming from an oil well in the same area that was drilled during the gas rush that preceded the release.
“At the time, this well had been in operation for over 30 years,” Lagerstrom said.
Despite this evidence, methane is still the most likely source of the released methane.
A recent study published in Nature Geoscience looked at the release in detail.
It found that natural gas in the region was responsible for a quarter of the emissions in the past five years.
According to the scientists, methane was likely released from an area where oil drilling has taken place for over a century.
Scientists say that methane is a major greenhouse gas, but its effects are still unclear.
As methane is released in the ocean, it heats the surface of the Earth and it contributes to global temperature fluctuations.
Methanol is another greenhouse gas that is also produced by the same process, and it is found in the atmosphere and can affect climate change.
Both are important contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions, and researchers are trying to understand why they are being released so quickly in the midst of a warming planet.
NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies has released a new report titled “Climate Change, Methane, and Global Methane Emissions.”
The scientists report that in addition to the methane that’s being released from oil and natural gas drilling, another significant methane source is the melting of permafrost.
According to a study published by the University, the permafoundation of the soil can release methane, and this is the main source of methane in the environment.