February 4, 2013. In the images (Fig. 1) obtained by Dr. Leonid Yurganov, shows the levels of methane January 1-10 2013 (Left), 11-20 January 2013 (center) and 21-31 January 2013 (right).
Images show a dramatic increase in methane over the Arctic Ocean during January 2013 in a large region to the north of Norway.
Why is this high level of methane appears there? To further study the situation, let's take a look at where the highest concentration of sea ice. Fig. 2 shows the concentration of sea ice in January 2013 year, according to the national data center for snow and ice (NSIDC).
Overlay measurements of methane concentration of sea ice shows that the highest levels of methane coincide with areas in the Arctic Ocean, where ice absent. This is shown in the animation below (Fig. 3).
See also: Methane penetrates through the cracks of melting ice
Where the level of methane over the Arctic Ocean are relatively low, there may still be very high levels of methane under the sea ice, where it is processed by bacteria, as described in the post further decline in sea ice in the Arctic. In this article the author comes to the conclusion that the huge amount of methane is likely to enter the atmosphere without having to stand by bacteria, when the sea ice recedes further. Sea ice is shrinking at an exponential rate. The great danger is that the huge rise in temperatures in the Arctic will lead to the destabilization of the huge amounts of methane, which is currently located on the seabed. Comprehensive and effective measures need to be taken now to avoid disaster.
Dr. Malcolm Light made the following comment on the image at the top of this post:
The first image shows that the western part of the Gulf Stream to Svalbard destabilize methane hydrates between Norway and Spitsbergen. The influence of the eastern branch of the Gulf Stream, which is part of the Barents Sea can be clearly seen in the third image, and methane hydrates in the entire Barents Sea region clearly destabilized by heat that is brought here. This additional heating causes an increased evaporation of the Gulf Stream which causes a giant flood was observed in Europe. And the water in the clouds prevent the ocean effectively dissipate heat, resulting in areas of Spitsbergen and the other is the destabilization of methane hydrates even in the dead of winter.
The following is a combination of images (Fig. 4), showing the levels of methane over the same period (January 21-31) for many years (2009 Left, 2013 , at right), Dr. Leonid Yurganov.