Methane releases in arctic seas could wreak devastation

Potential impacts include dead zones, acidification, shifts at the base of the ocean's food chain

11:14am, July 5, 2010

Massive releases of methane from arctic seafloors could create oxygen-poor dead zones, acidify the seas and disrupt ecosystems in broad parts of the northern oceans, new preliminary analyses suggest.

Such a cascade of geochemical and ecological ills could result if global warming triggers a widespread release of methane from deep below the Arctic seas, scientists propose in the June 28 Geophysical Research Letters.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.

More from Science News