The moon controls the release of methane under the Arctic Ocean?

News from March 10, Beijing time, a study showed that the moon controls the tidal changes in the Earth’s oceans and controls the release of methane from the Arctic seabed. People may not have understood before that a large amount of greenhouse gas methane has been continuously released from the bottom of the Arctic Ocean. This phenomenon has lasted for thousands of years. With the increase of ocean temperature caused by global warming in the future, it will further aggravate the release of submarine methane gas. These gases may escape from the ocean and become part of the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This is an important mystery that scientists are trying to solve.


The research report, published in the recently published “Nature Communications” magazine, implies that the moon is of great significance to the earth’s climate change.

In the past few decades, the total amount of methane in the earth’s atmosphere has increased significantly. Although part of it can be attributed to human activities, in fact, humans have not fully controlled other sources of methane gas, or even grasped how atmospheric methane is produced.


Smaller pressure changes affect the release of methane gas from the Arctic ocean

The moon controls one of the most powerful natural phenomena on the earth-the tides that shape the coast of the earth. On the contrary, the tidal energy significantly affects the release of methane under the Arctic Ocean. The author of the research report, Andrea Praza Faverola, said: “We have noticed that a large amount of methane gas accumulates in the sediments within 1 meter of the seafloor. Even a slight pressure change in the water column will easily affect the release of methane gas. Low tidal activity means that this hydrostatic pressure is lower and methane releases. The intensity is higher, and the rising tide will cause the pressure of the sea to increase, and the release of methane gas from the seabed will decrease.


Another author of the research report, Jochen Knees, said: “This is the first time such observation activities have been conducted in the Arctic Ocean, which means that slight pressure changes caused by tidal action can release a large amount of methane gas on the sea floor.”

The release of methane gas can be seen as a flame rising from the bottom of the sea.


New method reveals unknown release area of ​​submarine methane gas

Faverola pointed out that by placing a tool called a piezometer on the seabed sediments for 4 days of observation, the pressure and temperature of the water in the pores of the sediment can be measured. The pressure and temperature changes measured every hour show that they are close to The gas on the seafloor will rise and fall as the tide changes. This seafloor survey was carried out in the Arctic Ocean. Previously, except for the natural gas hydrate samples collected in this area, no methane gas release was observed.


He said that this latest study tells us that the methane gas released from the seafloor is more extensive than the methane gas we measure using traditional sonar technology. We have not seen bubbles or gas columns in the water unless there is a permanent Monitoring tools, such as manometers.

The operator in the picture is recovering the pressure tool manometer, which is responsible for monitoring how methane gas is released from the seabed sediments.

These observations indicate that the current quantitative level of gas release in the Arctic may be underestimated. However, the high tide seems to affect the release of greenhouse gases in the Arctic seabed by reducing the water surface height and the volume of sea water.


This latest discovery is unexpected and significant. This is a deep ocean area. Small changes in pressure will increase the release of greenhouse gases. However, due to the depth of the water, most of the methane gas remains in the sea, but the shallower What will happen under the sea? This method also needs to be carried out in shallow Arctic waters, and it will last a long time. In shallow seas, methane gas is more likely to enter the atmosphere.

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