A study conducted by the University of Tromso (ITU) Arctic University in Norway claimed that the moon has a role to play in controlling the amount of methane gas released by the Arctic Ocean.
According to various researches, the Arctic Ocean is leaking huge amounts of strong methane with greenhouse gases, which have been going on for thousands of years, but could be intensified by a warmer future ocean. The potential of this gas to escape the ocean and contribute to the budget of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is an important mystery that scientists are trying to solve.
A recent paper in Nature Communications shows that the total amount of methane in the atmosphere has increased immensely in recent decades, and the moon can play a vital role in controlling this.
Small changes in pressure affect the release of methane, and the moon controls one of nature’s most formidable forces, such as the tides that shape the coast. In turn, the tides significantly affect the intensity of methane emissions from the bottom of the Arctic Ocean.
The co-author of the newspaper Andreia Plaza Faverola said: “We have noticed that gas accumulations, which are in sediments less than one meter from the seabed, are vulnerable even to slight changes in pressure in the water column. Low sea means lower hydrostatic pressure and higher methane release intensity. The high sea is equal to the high pressure and the lower intensity of the release. “
Meanwhile, another co-author Jochen Knies revealed that this was the first time an observation had been made in the Arctic Ocean, which showed that slight changes in pressure could release significant amounts of methane.
The observation proved to be a game changer for the study that revealed new facts about the same thing.
Faverola said the observations were made by placing an instrument called a piezometer in the sediment and leaving it there for four days.
It measured the pressure and temperature of the water in the pores of the sediment. Hourly changes in measured pressure and temperature showed the presence of gas near the seabed rising and falling as the waves change. The measurements were made in an area of the Arctic Ocean where no methane release was previously observed, but where massive concentrations of gas hydrate were taken.
“This tells us that the release of gas from the seabed is more widespread than we can see using traditional sonar surveys. I didn’t see any bubbles or gas columns in the water. Gas spills that last for several hours will not be identified unless there is a permanent monitoring tool, such as a piezometer, “said Faverola.
These observations implied that the quantification of current Arctic gas emissions may be underestimated. However, high tides seem to influence gas emissions by reducing their height and volume.
“What I found was unexpected and the implications are great. This is a deep site. Small changes in pressure can increase gas emissions, but methane will still remain in the ocean due to the depth of the water. This approach must also be taken in shallow Arctic waters over a longer period. In shallow water, the possibility of methane reaching the atmosphere is higher, “said Knies.
Scientists have also noted that high sea levels have affected gas emissions, potentially reducing their height and volume. The unresolved question was whether sea level rise due to global warming could partially offset the effect of temperature on submarine methane emissions.
Faverola revealed that the Earth’s systems are interconnected in ways they still decipher, “Our study revealed one of such interconnections in the Arctic: the moon causes tidal forces, tides generate pressure changes and bottom currents that in turn shape the bottom.” and the impact of submarine methane emissions. Fascinating!”
(This story was published from an agency stream with no text changes.)
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