Up to $60 trillion (just shy of the global GDP for one year) is what climate change impacts will cost the world’s economy if the estimated 50 billion tons of seafloor-trapped methane gas in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf were to be released into the atmosphere. That’s according to new economic modeling research conducted by
Methane (CH4) is the main constituent of natural gas, and is the result of natural decomposition processes. Although its lifetime in the atmosphere as a free gas is much shorter than CO2, it is 23 times more potent in terms of its heat trapping ability. This past month, there has been a flurry of news,
A research team confirms “extensive out-gassing of methane to the atmosphere” over the Eastern Siberian Arctic Shelf, and confirm its source to be venting from sea-bed sediments. Though acknowledging their findings do not seriously alter climate change predictions, the team also asserts that the sub-sea permafrost layer is failing and advise more urgent investigation.