Friday, Nov 15 2019
All Cities
Choose Your City
'The greatest rail adventure in the world, the Trans-Siberian train journey'
Bryn Thomas

First pictures and video of the largest methane fountain so far discovered in the Arctic Ocean

By The Siberian Times reporter
28 October 2019

Subsea permafrost thaws faster than previously thought, Russian scientists say.

Bubbling water of the East Siberia Sea. Picture: Tomsk Polytechnic University

Unexpectedly high level of subsea permafrost degradation was recorded by a Russian-led scientific expedition that spent more than a month in the seas of the eastern Arctic.

A record high methane gas emission in a shape of an underwater ‘fountain’ was registered at the beginning of October east of Bennett island in the East Siberian Sea. 

‘It was a needle in a haystack chase, to find an exact place of a methane seep in dark sea waters, but we found it!

'Just right off the Academician Keldysh scientists noticed a spot of emerald-coloured water, with gas rushing to surface in thousands of bubble threads’, said expedition member Sergey Nikiforov, a communications experts of the Tomsk Politechnical University.

The area of the fountain covered about five metres, with water ‘so violently boiling with methane bubbles’ that scientists skipped using plastic cones for sampling and instead collected the gas in buckets. 

‘This was the most powerful seep I have ever observed. No one has ever recorded anything similar’ said head of the expedition Igor Semiletov, who has participated in 45 Arctic expeditions. 

First pictures and video of the largest methane fountain so far discovered in the Arctic Ocean


First pictures and video of the largest methane fountain so far discovered in the Arctic Ocean


First pictures and video of the largest methane fountain so far discovered in the Arctic Ocean


First pictures and video of the largest methane fountain so far discovered in the Arctic Ocean


First pictures and video of the largest methane fountain so far discovered in the Arctic Ocean
Bubbling water of the East Siberia Sea. Pictures: Tomsk Polytechnic University


Unexpectedly high speed of degradation of subsea permafrost has been recorded. 

'In some areas the roof of subsea permafrost thawed to the stability horizons of gas hydrates. Moreover, it has been proved that over the past 30 years speed of vertical degradation of subsea permafrost doubled compared to previous centuries and reached 18 centimetres per year which is significantly higher than in earlier estimates', said professor Semiletov. 

'This result makes us reconsider the belief  that subsea permafrost is stable and can only thaw by a few metres by the end of 21st century', he stressed. 

First video of the largest methane seep (fountain) so far discovered in the Arctic Ocean, credit Tomsk Politechnic University

KEY FACTS

  • Expedition set off from Arkhangelsk, northwest Russia, on September 17.
  • It was organised by Shirshov Institute of Oceanography (Moscow) with the Ilyichev Pacific Ocean Institute of Oceanography (Vladivostok).
  • 65 scientists from 12 research organisations across 7 countries (Russia, Sweden, Norway, Netherlands, Italy, UK, USA) were on board of Academician Keldysh research vessel.
  • Researchers studied seas of the eastern Arctic: East Siberian sea, Laptev sea and Kara sea. 

Aims of the expedition were

  • To study state of subsea (underwater) permafrost;
  • To study flows of greenhouse gases in the Arctic atmosphere;
  • To study ecological state of waters and seabed sediments along the Northern Sea Route (NSR). 

What they actually established

  • High levels of degradation of subsea permafrost.
  • Speed of vertical degradation of subsea permafrost has doubled compared to previous centuries and turned out to be higher than earlier estimates.
  • Microplastic has been discovered in seas of the eastern Artic thousands miles away from residential settlements.

What else did researchers say?

Elena Kudryashova, rector of Northern Federal University, Arkhangelsk: 'Another important subject of our research was study of various types of microplastic in the seas of the eastern Arctic.

'It is important to compare and analyse results of all expeditions because microplastic represents a serious threat to organisms and sea ecosystems as a whole.' 

Pictures of the methane gas seep credit Tomsk Polytechnic University

First pictures and video of the largest methane fountain so far discovered in the Arctic Ocean


First pictures and video of the largest methane fountain so far discovered in the Arctic Ocean


First pictures and video of the largest methane fountain so far discovered in the Arctic Ocean


First pictures and video of the largest methane fountain so far discovered in the Arctic Ocean


First pictures and video of the largest methane fountain so far discovered in the Arctic Ocean


First pictures and video of the largest methane fountain so far discovered in the Arctic Ocean


First pictures and video of the largest methane fountain so far discovered in the Arctic Ocean

Comments (12)

No, this is not caused by "Global Warming" and even less by (Man Made) Global Warming (AGW) simply because there's no warming, not natural and not man-made!

Nothing special about this, there are 100's of thousands of "leaks" like that - perhaps millions - all over the world, on land, in the oceans, in lakes and in rivers.

Quite normal, been going on for billions of years.

The difference is, today the "Green" Rent & Grant Seekers are trying to use it to keep the climate alarm going, i.e. the funding of their dishonest alarmism.
Roald Larsen, Norge
05/11/2019 03:02
2
13
CO2 emissions mimic planetary population grown. 2014 Antartica ice grew to record levels killing Emperor Penguin populations. 18th century tide heights were far higher than today. Ice core samples from 28,000 years ago show a mean average temperature 2c higher than today. The data is all around us showing climate cycles are natural.


Jon Arbuckle, London, UK
04/11/2019 05:30
1
7
Another warning to "Mankind" & especially individual Leaders to "Act Now".


No Excuses...your peoples demand it.
Jaker, Dundalk
03/11/2019 04:42
3
1
Approximately how far from land was this methane fountain? What was the depth of the water at that point? What is the latitude/longitude for the location?
More Data Please, Sumas, USA
31/10/2019 09:20
3
3
If this quantity of methane is allowed to escape into the atmosphere it could drastically worsen global temperature rise. Methane is many times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2. Worse still, this is just one instance of methane being vented from melting permafrost. There could be many more venting at this moment.
Iain Melville, Yelverton, Britain
31/10/2019 05:19
10
2
Lake and continental shelf emissions are both methane, and both increasing as a result of AGW, but they have different mechanisms
"Methane emissions from thermokarst areas of lakes that have expanded over the past 60 years were directly proportional to the mass of soil carbon inputs to the lakes from the erosion of thawing permafrost." And they have the same radiocarbon age. https://www.nature.com/articles/ngeo2795

"Radiocarbon data demonstrate that the CH4presentin the ESAS sediment is of Pleistocene age or older..."
"The14C content of CH4from the hotspot cores covers arange from 0.79 to 3.4 pmC corresponding to a radiocarbonage of 26 to 39 kyr BP (Fig. 2)." https://boris.unibe.ch/100942/1/Sapart_CH4%20sources%20in%20ESAS%20using%2014C-13C-2H%20(BG%202017).pdf

The lake methane is generated from previously frozen organic matter being released from thawing permafrost and metabolized producing methane. The seabed methane was produced ages ago and capped by the permafrost,
Brian Dodge, Durham,NC,USA
31/10/2019 03:57
4
2
This sort of methane seep is like a natural gas well that you don't need to drill. The seabed area of 5 meters can be covered with a 10 meter plastic trap and piped to shore where the natural gas can be used as fuel replacing other sources and reduce pollution.
John Taylor, Hamilton Ontario Canada
30/10/2019 02:00
12
4
going to starvation weather, in a hurry.
,
29/10/2019 23:38
0
2
Our lakes have been doing this for a hundred years. A child hood pastime is to pop a bubble dozen in the lake ice and light it.
Ti Tho, Willow, Alaska
29/10/2019 23:23
10
15
Fasten your seat belts, the ride is about to get very bumpy.
Thank you for reporting this very bad news.
Ray Gergen, Spokane, Washington, USA
29/10/2019 22:13
27
6
This is more proof that our worldwide climate emergency is happening right now.
Don Beyerle, USA
29/10/2019 21:36
21
9
Thank you so much for your work in bringing this to light. Totally terrifying but not altogether unexpected. I'm sharing this - so important. Big hugs
Nat Morley , Tetbury UK
29/10/2019 12:58
24
4
1

Add your comment

We welcome a healthy debate, but do not accept offensive or abusive comments. Please also read 'Siberian Times' Privacy Policy

Name

Town/Country

Add your comments

The views expressed in the comments above are those of our readers. 'Siberian Times' reserves the right to pre-moderate some comments.

Control code*

Type the code

* obligatory


News

Business

The Bank of Russia official exchange rates of foreign currencies
EUR70.41USD63.89GBP82.24Other...