Bubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble

The WaPo has a nice picture story featuring an Arctic lake that's leaking methane like crazy. Methane, of course, is a greenhouse gas that's far more potent than CO2 but has a relatively short half life in the atmosphere - over twenty years it is about 85 times as potent as CO2, but most of it is converted to CO2 in less than 100 years.

Melting permafrost is a source of greenhouse gases, but this lake's methane has a chemical signature of carbon that's been buried for a long time, and it's feared that this may be a signature of a major reservoir.  If these turn out to be common, they could be a powerful positive feedback for global warming.


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