Warming Pacific Ocean waters could release harmful amounts of methane: Study

December 10, 2014 6:20 PM

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The Pacific Ocean’s warmer waters is reaching temperatures high enough to cause deposits of methane gas, frozen in layers underneath the seafloor, to melt, releasing the methane into sediments and the surrounding waters. The finding comes from new research from the University of Washington.

Researchers found that the water at intermediate depths, around 500 meters down, is gradually warming up, potentially releasing million tons of methane, which transforms from solid to gas at the same depth. The paper is to be published in Geophysical Research Letters.

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