Scientists Discover First Active Methane Leak In Antarctica’s Seabed

Climate change could allow large quantities of gas to escape in the near future.

Sohil Nikam

July 23, 2020

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As the world experiences climate change, the first ever active leak of methane gas has been discovered under the seabed of Antarctica by scientists. Researchers have found worrisome leads that could potentially worsen the ongoing climate crisis. It is said that vast quantities of methane gas remain trapped under the seabed of Antarctica and the microbes that normally consume the potent greenhouse gases have seen a drastic decline in the past years. These microbes actually help prevent greenhouse gases from reaching the atmosphere.

The reason for the emergence of the new seep remains a mystery, but it is probably not global heating, as the Ross Sea where it was found has yet to warm significantly. Despite this, the research holds significance for climate models, which currently do not account for a delay in the microbial consumption of escaping methane. The active seep was first spotted by chance by divers in 2011, but it took scientists until 2016 to return to the site and study it in detail, before beginning laboratory work.

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