Ice creamed

We’ve all seen headlines along the lines of: “Methane Hydrate Breakdown in the Arctic permafrost = Massive Global Super-warming!” Erm, nope. The panic is over about every eco-worrier’s favourite ice-gas, according to the USGS. It seems that Matt Ridley has another failed eco-scare to add to his growing list…

“Our review is the culmination of nearly a decade of original research by the USGS, my co-author Professor John Kessler at the University of Rochester, and many other groups in the community,” said USGS geophysicist Carolyn Ruppel, who is the paper’s lead author and oversees the USGS Gas Hydrates Project. “After so many years spent determining where gas hydrates are breaking down and measuring methane flux at the sea-air interface, we suggest that conclusive evidence for release of hydrate-related methane to the atmosphere is lacking.”

Virginia Burkett, USGS Associate Director for Climate and Land Use Change, noted, ” […] The authors’ sober, data-driven analyses and conclusions challenge the popular perception that warming climate will lead to a catastrophic release of methane to the atmosphere as a result of gas hydrate breakdown.”

methane_clathrate_location_map_usgs

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