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July 31 2013

Earthquakes: Another source of global-warming gas, scientists say


A devastating earthquake in 1945 sent millions of cubic feet of methane bubbling up to the earth’s surface, scientists have found, in new research that could add another source of the greenhouse gas to future climate models.

The latest research joins burgeoning scientific interest in the potential contribution of methane, a greenhouse gas that is significantly more effective as a heat trapper than carbon dioxide, to global warming. Last week, a separate article in Nature called the methane gas below the Arctic “a global economic time-bomb,” referring to the potential costs to the world should global warming thin the Arctic ice enough to release the gas there.

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