The Arctic Methane Monster Stirs: NASA’s CARVE Finds Plumes as Large as 150 Kilometers Across Amidst Year of Troubling Spikes
(Barrow Methane Record 2009 to Present. Image source: NOAA)
In late June and early July, Barrow Alaska showed two methane readings in excess of 1975 parts per billion. Sadly, this most recent methane spike is likely not to be an outlier.
The Barrow spike came in conjunction with a number of other anomalously high methane readings in the Arctic region during 2013. Most notably, the Kara, Barents and Norwegian Seas all showed atmospheric methane levels spiking to as high as 1935 parts per billion during the first half of 2013.
(Kara, Barents, Norwegian Methane. Image source: Dr. Yurganov)
Averages in this and other regions around the Arctic are at new record highs even as atmospheric methane levels continue inexorably upward. For reference, Mauna Loa shows average global atmospheric methane levels are now at around 1830 parts per billion. These levels were around 700 parts per billion at the start…
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