Just when you thought you understood all the things that added to global warming one comes along that had been waiting for centuries under the oceans to surprise you.
When water freezes it forms a square crystalline structure. In the center of each square there is empty space . When, ice forms under pressure in the oceans in the presence of methane that gas is forced into the empty space. It’s called methyl hydrate. The methane stays inside the ice until it melts. With the oceans warming methane ice is starting to melt.
Methane gas is many times worse for global warming than CO2. Worldwide the amount of methane contained in methyl hydrates is conservatively estimated to contain twice the amount of carbon found in all the known fossil fuels on Earth.
There are major deposits of methane hydrate in Siberia which were discovered as part of drilling operations for natural gas. The are also large amounts in the ground below the permafrost on the northern slope of Alaska. Methyl hydrate has and is being discovered under ocean sediments by oil drilling operations and scientific exploration work all over the world. It’s distribution is worldwide but the largest deposits are found in the arctic and along the margins of continental shelves. If the methane hydrate is under the ocean when the methane is released a plume is formed.
Over the last ten years 160+ plumes of methane have been discovered off the coasts of Oregon and Washington. For more information follow the link below and search my BLOG using the key word methane – there are some dramatic videos.
Previously, I’ve written about water resource problems in California and some possible associated issues. One of these issues was the movement of California’s population elsewhere especially to the Northwest. It’s started.
Californians are buying up property in North Portland at over asking price and as a result bidding wars are now common. Native Portlanders and Oregonians are not receiving this influx of new California buyers too well. They are showing their concern by putting stickers with the shape of California covered with a circle and a line through it on home for sale signs. Check the ‘Oregonian’ article for more details.