Sunday, August 3, 2014

Are Siberia’s methane blow-holes the first warning sign of unstoppable climate change? What do three enormous craters in the Siberian wastelands have to do with a terrified American climate scientist? Methane. And that’s something to scare us all. The end of the world could be starting right now — in a frozen Siberian wasteland known as Yamal. It translates as “The End of the Land”.

The first mysterious crater was spotted by oil workers earlier this month. It was an 80m wide cavern that reached deep into the earth. Since then, the Siberian Times reports goatherds have found a further two enormous vents in the ground.

Russian researchers have returned from their investigation of the first find and taken water and soil samples to help resolve how the hole was formed. ...[S]cientists already have a pretty good idea. Explosive vents of vast quantities of methane gas.

Now a new, ominous, name could be attached to them: Dragon’s mouths. Here’s where a blog posted by American professor in glaciology Dr Jason Box at the weekend comes in: “The dragon breath hypothesis has me losing sleep.” Dr Box highlights signs of alarmingly huge spikes of methane being released into the atmosphere above Siberia.

It’s what that means which has him alarmed. He’s not mincing his words. He’s issued a no-holds barred call to action. “This is an all hands on deck moment,” he writes. “We’re in the age of consequences.”...

Going ashore on the Yamal Peninsula, photo by Fridtjof Nansen

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