Study led by University in Tromso (ITU) The Arctic University of Norway claimed that the moon has a role to play in controlling the amount of methane gas released from the Arctic Ocean.
The Arctic Ocean, according to various researches, emits huge amounts of the powerful greenhouse gas methane that has lasted for thousands of years, but could be intensified by a future warmer ocean. The potential of this gas to escape from the ocean and contribute to the greenhouse gas budget in the atmosphere is an important mystery that scientists are trying to solve.
A recent article in Nature Communications reveals that the total amount of methane in the atmosphere has grown significantly over the past few decades, and the moon can play a vital role in controlling that.
Small pressure changes affect methane release and the moon rules one of the most formidable forces in nature like the tides that form coasts. Tides, in turn, significantly affect the intensity of methane emissions from the seabed of the Arctic Ocean.
Co-author of the newspaper Andreia Plaza Faverola said, “We have noticed that gas accumulations that are in the sediments within a meter of the seabed are vulnerable to even small pressure changes in the water column. Low tide means less such hydrostatic pressure and higher intensity of methane release. Flow equals high pressure and lower intensity of the release. “
Meanwhile, another co-author Jochen Knies revealed that it was the first time an observation had been made in the Arctic Ocean that showed that tiny pressure changes can release significant amounts of methane.
The observation proved to be a change for the study, which revealed new facts about the same.
Faverola said the observations were made by placing a tool called a piezometer in the sediments and leaving it there for four days.
It measured the pressure and temperature of the water within the pores of the sediment. Hourly changes in the measured pressure and temperature revealed the presence of gas close to the seabed, which rises and falls as the tides change. The measurements were made in an area of the Arctic Ocean where no release of methane had previously been observed, but where massive concentrations of gaseous hydrates had accumulated.
“This tells us that gas leakage from the seabed is more widespread than we can see through traditional sounding surveys. We have seen no bubbles or columns of gas in the water. Gas bursts that have a periodicity of a few hours will not be identified unless there is a constant checker, such as the piezometer, “Faverola said.
These observations implied that the quantification of current gas emissions in the Arctic may be underestimated. High tides, however, appear to affect gas emissions by decreasing their height and volume.
“What we found was unexpected and the implications are great. This is deep water. Small changes in pressure can increase gas emissions, but methane will still remain in the ocean due to the water depth. This approach should also be done in shallow Arctic waters, over a longer period of time. In shallow water, the chance that methane will reach the atmosphere is greater, ”Knies said.
The scientists also noted that high sea levels affected gas emissions, possibly reducing their height and volume. The question that remained unresolved was whether sea level rise due to global warming could partially offset the impact of temperature on submarine methane emissions.
Faverola revealed that Earth’s systems are interconnected in ways they still decipher, “Our study revealed one such connection in the Arctic: The moon causes tidal forces, the tides generate pressure changes and bottom currents, which in turn form the seabed and impact. methane emissions. Fascinating! ”
(This story was published by a wireless agency without modifications to the text.)
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