Title

Methane: The Arctic's Ticking Time Bomb

Date

5-26-2016 11:00 AM

End Time

26-5-2016 1:00 PM

Location

WUC Pacific Room

Department

Geography

Session Chair

Mark M. Van Steeter

Session Title

Geography: Climate Change

Faculty Sponsor(s)

Mark Van Steeter

Abstract

The Arctic is one of many areas where methane is stored in the earth’s crust. It resides in permafrost, gas deposits, and submarine clathrates where methane is trapped within the ocean floor. The release of methane gas is accelerating due to global warming. This is due to melting of the permafrost and the gas deposits exiting the surface and into our atmosphere. Positive feedbacks continue to push the acceleration of this cycle causing more methane gas to enter our atmosphere and contributing to greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. Methane traps more heat than carbon dioxide and is about 30 times more effective at doing so (Nyman 2014). With the increase of methane comes more heating of the earth, which in turn accounts for more methane being released. It is estimated that methane releases from Arctic permafrost and the clathrates have more than quadrupled since 2006, and are estimated to be between 40 and 50 times higher than the levels we experienced prior to then (Oskin 2013).

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May 26th, 11:00 AM May 26th, 1:00 PM

Methane: The Arctic's Ticking Time Bomb

WUC Pacific Room

The Arctic is one of many areas where methane is stored in the earth’s crust. It resides in permafrost, gas deposits, and submarine clathrates where methane is trapped within the ocean floor. The release of methane gas is accelerating due to global warming. This is due to melting of the permafrost and the gas deposits exiting the surface and into our atmosphere. Positive feedbacks continue to push the acceleration of this cycle causing more methane gas to enter our atmosphere and contributing to greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. Methane traps more heat than carbon dioxide and is about 30 times more effective at doing so (Nyman 2014). With the increase of methane comes more heating of the earth, which in turn accounts for more methane being released. It is estimated that methane releases from Arctic permafrost and the clathrates have more than quadrupled since 2006, and are estimated to be between 40 and 50 times higher than the levels we experienced prior to then (Oskin 2013).