East Arctic emits the same amount of methane as the rest of the world ocean. This is the conclusion reached by the participants of the joint Russian-American expedition. The vessel "Academician Lavrentiev" they explored the ocean floor and found the whole fields of methane geysers.
Joint expedition of Russian and American scientists in the Arctic lasted 46 days. In the Laptev Sea "Lavrentiev" set its own record of stay in the northern latitudes, reaching the 78th parallel.
"We survived a few storms, but even in these conditions fulfilled all tasks! Main — science pleased excellent crew, brilliantly coped with the problem," — says the ship's captain Victor Ptushkin.
On board the "Academician Lavrentiev" lard-date equipment, the researchers observed the behavior of the shelf in the Arctic seas of the East. It is believed that here, under the carapace of underwater permafrost, are the largest hydrocarbon reserves. But researchers attracted more. They worried colossal natural emissions of methane, despite the fact that its impact on the greenhouse effect is ten times greater than the role of carbon dioxide.
"Emissions of methane from the sediment of the seas eastern Arctic at least commensurate with the rest of the methane oceans, — Igor Semiletov, head of the Russian-American expedition, Doctor of Geographical Sciences. — The reopening of one to two percent of the estimated reserves, the current atmospheric concentration of methane can increased many times, which can lead to hard to predict. " The expedition has opened up new fields of high-power gas emissions. One of these fountains reaches gigantic proportions — kilometer in diameter! Despite the impressive size, see the release of gas from the water column to the naked eye will not work. All this captures the special equipment in the water. "For a long time scientists were aware that the underwater permafrost, which covers the bottom of the East Siberian shelf, is impermeable cover. We today can say with certainty that the underwater permafrost is unstable. It degrades and creates conditions for the release of methane into the atmosphere, "- explains Natalia Yadav, Senior Research Associate in the Laboratory of Arctic Studies Pacific Oceanological Institute. Scientists are not inclined to dramatize the situation. To make predictions about environmental disaster, the data is not enough. The main task — to find a way to continue the research and new missions, which cost a lot of money. The results of research on board the "Academician Lavrentiev" in the eastern Arctic seas require careful handling. But now we can say that they are able to radically change the old ideas about the causes and extent of future global warming.