Gulf Stream might be releasing seafloor methane | Science News

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Gulf Stream might be releasing seafloor methane

Greenhouse gas may be flowing into ocean waters off U.S. east coast

1:15pm, October 24, 2012

While it’s no ice-nine, a frozen form of methane trapped in ocean sediments could be cause for concern. Warm Gulf Stream waters off the east coast of North America are converting large amounts of the substance into methane gas, which could lead to underwater landslides and influence global climate.

A good portion of the biological carbon on Earth is stored in the seafloor as methane hydrate, a frozen mixture of methane and water formed at high pressure and low temperature. Changes in the temperature or direction of the Gulf Stream, which carries warm water north from the Gulf of Mexico, have heated sediments in a strip along the North Atlantic seafloor by 8 degrees

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