It’s a worrying sign for the climate emergency, but it does give us an unprecedented research opportunity in Antarctica.
Methane leakage on the sea floor has been recorded in Antarctica for the first time ever.
The seep was discovered in a 30ft deep site known as Cinder Cones in McMurdo Sound and was led by Andrew Thurber from Oregon State University. Methane isn’t being released in bubbles but instead is ‘coming out in what we call diffuse flows, it’s just dissolving in the water’, Thurber states.
Scientists have known about the large quantities of methane that are stored underneath the sea for a while, but large scale leakages in the Southern Ocean were only first monitored in South Georgia in 2014. This is the first time it’s been recorded on the Antarctic continent.