Jun 07, 2017 06:46 AM EDT
Several researchers have recently discovered a lot of giant seafloor holes in the Arctic Sea. The cause was methane explosions that happened just recently.
Giant Seafloor Holes Cause Discovered
Recently, the researchers working on the Barents Seas have seen an amazing discovery, which was hundreds of craters on the Arctic Sea floor. Some of these giant holes measured over a kilometer in width. It was revealed that these craters were created when large reserves of methane suddenly exploded when the ice sheets retreated recently, Gizmodo reported.
These craters actually date back to the end of the last Ice Age, which makes it an amazing find. Unfortunately, the discovery also means the potential warning of things to come with global warming.
Barents Sea Covered In Ice
The Barents Sea was covered in ice around 12,000 years ago, which was placed just north of Scandinavia. When Earth got some global warming recently, the ice sheets that incased the Barents Sea receded, which released a lot of methane that was trapped below. The end result was a series of explosive methane blowouts that can be seen on the seafloor with its craters.
Barents Sea Today
The craters that littered in the Barents Sea still have methane in them, which is a big concern for a lot of climate researchers. Methane is 30 times more effective at trapping heat in the atmosphere compared to carbon dioxide, which can be problematic.
The same geological process that caused the historic methane blowouts are actually happening on the other side of the world. This has also led to some speculation that the methane explosions could become more frequent due to human-caused climate change.
Trump Administration Puts a Halt To Obama-era Rule
In other methane related news, the Environmental Protection Agency ordered a halt recently to an Obama-era rule. It was created to reduce methane leaks from new and modified oil and natural gas drilling wells. It was also recently discovered that the problem of escaping methane was worse than it was initially feared, Think Progress reported.
The latest action allows the oil and gas industry to have a second chance to comment on the rule. They will not have to comply with certain requirements of the rule, but the three-month stay will still be in effect.
Check out the Hundreds Of Vents Leaking Methane video below:
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