The methane released by the Arctic during the summer melt season could be a contributing factor to the region’s methane-emitting methane pollution, according to a study published in the journal Science.
Scientists in Denmark found that methane was released from methane seeps and that this released methane was mostly methane from the Arctic Ocean and the Greenland ice sheet, which are both in the area where the summer melting occurred.
According to the study, this is the first study to document methane released from Arctic seeps.
“The release of methane from Arctic methane seep sites in the Beaufort Sea and elsewhere has been well-studied, but we didn’t see any methane from these seeps, as this is a natural methane source,” said Professor Daniela Kjellstrand, one of the study’s authors.
“That means that this release is not related to the recent release of large quantities of methane by a new methane gas source from the nearby permafrost.
It also means that there is no evidence that this methane is causing a warming in the Arctic, as we suspected.”
The methane is likely to have been released as methane septum meltwater and a series of methane releases from Arctic sea ice.
The methane releases occur during summer melt, and have been documented for the past few years.
Professor Kjelstor said that the release of these septums could have a major impact on the amount of methane released into the atmosphere.
“If you look at the methane releases that are happening, the methane release from the septumen is quite large,” she said.
“We have seen the release over the past five years, and we have seen a similar release in the Greenland sea ice.”
She said that these releases could potentially increase the warming of the Arctic in the future.
“It is also likely that some of the methane that is released from these methane seps will have already been sequestered in the seabed and transported further up to the stratosphere,” she added.
Professor Håkan Wiklund, one the study authors, said that methane releases were not necessarily the primary cause of the warming that had been observed in the past.
“There are a number of factors that can cause the warming in an Arctic, including a combination of warming temperatures, increased sea ice cover and warming ocean currents,” he said.
Professor Wiklund said that, with the Greenland and Beaufort seas currently covered in ice, the release would likely be a problem for the future warming.
“I think the release will be a significant challenge in the near term.
It is difficult to imagine that this kind of methane release can be avoided in the next few decades.”
The study is the result of a collaboration between the Danish Institute for Sea and Land Research, the Arctic Environmental Research Institute, the University of Copenhagen, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Danish Ministry of Education and Science.