The release of methane from underneath Arctic ice is expected to be a major issue in coming years as permafrost melts (if we don’t act to stop climate change soon). Methane is about 25 times more potent a greenhouse gas than CO2 over a 100-year time period and about 72 times more potent over a 20-year time period. As the National Science Foundation has noted: “Release of even a fraction of the methane stored in the shelf could trigger abrupt climate warming.”
Dr Joe Romm also noted: “Methane release from the not-so-perma-frost is the most dangerous amplifying feedback in the entire carbon cycle.”
Now, the release of methane is already happening to a small degree and, in the video below, University of Alaska Fairbanks Professor Katey Walter Anthony shows us the process in the real world and the fun people can have “exploding” the leaking methane gas.