Earthquakes contribute to global warming by releasing methane from ocean floor

July 29, 2013 OCEANEarthquakes contribute to global warming by releasing the highly potent greenhouse gas, methane, from the ocean floor. A study conducted by Swiss and German scientists has uncovered a natural source of greenhouse gas emission – methane.  Researchers emphasize that climate scientists need to consider the amount of methane being released as earthquakes rip open ocean floors, in order to better understand the various sources of greenhouse gases. Researchers from the University of Bremen discovered that an underwater quake that occurred in Pakistan 70 years ago ripped opened the sea bed and released the potent greenhouse gas, ‘methane,’ into the atmosphere.  “We suggest there is a new source that they might want to consider in the future,” David Fischer, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Bremen in Germany and the lead author of the study, was quoted in The New York Times. The researchers analyzed the sediment cores gathered in 2007 from two locations in the northern Arabian Sea. Referred to as the Makran Subduction zone, the plate boundary has triggered the most terrible and deadliest earthquakes like the one that occurred in 1945 in Pakistan. An 8.0 magnitude earthquake in Pakistan gave rise to a tsunami claiming around 4,000 lives, reports, LiveScience. It is well known that sea floors are an ideal location for the formation of methane as deep ocean waters and sea beds are cold and methane hydrates are stable under excess pressure and low temperatures. The pressure below the water depth of 350 meters is just right to stabilize the hydrates. 
For the present study, the researchers analyzed sediments taken from locations where the cores indicated the presence of large amount of methane. On calculating the rate of methane in the cores they estimated that there had been a significant increase in the level of gas since the 1945 earthquake. The researchers calculated that over the past decade nearly 7.4 million cubic meters of methane has escaped to the surface. “Based on several indicators, we postulated that the earthquake led to a fracturing of the sediments, releasing the gas that had been trapped below the hydrates into the ocean,” Fischer said. Compared to carbon dioxide, methane is a more potent greenhouse gas. A recent study by researchers at the University of Cambridge and Erasmus University in the Netherlands states that the release of methane in the Arctic could increase the melting of sea ice and the resultant change in climate will cost the global economy up to $60 trillion in the coming decades. From several years scientists have suspected a strong association between earthquakes and underwater methane bursts but this the first study that confirms this association and has been documented in the journal Nature Geoscience. –Science World Report
This entry was posted in Acquatic Ecosystem crash, Climate unraveling, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Earthquake Omens?, Extreme Weather Event, High-risk potential hazard zone, Potential Earthchange hotspot, Red Tide, Seismic tremors, Signs of Magnetic Field weakening, Submarine volcanic eruption, Tectonic plate movement, Time - Event Acceleration. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Earthquakes contribute to global warming by releasing methane from ocean floor

  1. noirfifre says:

    Interesting. One theory to back up global warming is a natural phenomenon.


  2. Json Brvcic says:

    The life span of methane’s in our atmosphere is much shorter than CO2. That’s fortunate since it is a hydrocarbon breaking down into simpler elements, but still a pollutant.


  3. Irene C says:

    This all makes sense to me. The release of methane from the ocean floor along with all the dust, ash, and carbon dioxide being released by ongoing volcanoes, the weather will be affected. Too bad our politicians aren’t listening. Well, until they find a way to tax it.


  4. Dennis E. says:

    This is an issue that doesn’t get much coverage in the media and many Americans are unaware of
    the potential disaster unfolding from melting ice caps and under water earthquakes, especially off the east coast of the USA.


  5. Louise Page says:

    Mother Earth controls the climate – Man is responsible for polluting her environment.
    Earth for ‘squillions of years has been evolving and churning away with releasing many of her gases, along with the emissions of volcanoes.
    Where the Earth has times of considerable (and sometimes subtle) shifting and shuffling of the plates, volcanic eruptions, sea floor spreading, and breaks ‘exposing’ and releasing held reserves/seams of gases etc., the environment/atmosphere is affected and ‘balances’ are changed, temporarily, long term and/or permanently. We humans have no control over that, but can only observe and adjust to these changes where the need be.
    We are at Her mercy generally speaking. But, we are also merciless when we sometimes delve into these areas (drilling etc.), sometimes triggering events ourselves of which we have no consequent control of.
    These are interesting studies and they help confirm just how much Mother Earth actually controls much of our experiences of life with Her.


  6. mtnwolf63 says:

    More Methane is being released because there are more earthquakes. Global warming is a false theory to cover up the real reason for climate change. More earthquakes releasing Methane are part of the cause. But the climate is changing on other Planets too.

    Astronomers have known for over a century that something is disturbing the orbits of the Outer Planets, Uranus and Neptune (William H. Pickering and Percival Lowell). Apparently that something has moved closer, and is now affecting the orbit of the Earth. Now flowers bloom in December, while blizzards howl in April. Expect much worse. More record heat, record cold, record drought, record floods, record snow, record storms, major earthquakes and massive volcanic eruptions. This Planet is in serious trouble!

    “Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the Lord of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger.” – Isaiah 13:13


  7. Kajajuk says:

    Wow, all that methane released and still the concentration in the atmosphere is about 150 parts per million or is it billions?


  8. Michael says:

    They think by telling the “Global Warming” lie enough times, people will start to believe it again?


  9. The release of the gas “methane” caused by he earthquake, is not only contributing to the system of “global warming” of the atmosphere, but , through that, the methane can be one of the cause, of the MARS or the SERS, which are Respiratory Syndromes..sickness…..
    The methane, too, which is an “underwater” gas delivered by an earthquake deep in the Ocean floor, can be “nefast” not only to people and to global warming climate, but too, can represent a “danger” to any “naval marine”, whether it is “nuclear” or not, passing over there…..
    It is recommendable, therefore, to check the Ocean floor, before crossing it …..Myriam Cassin Edelman Medelman…


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