A team made up of marine biologists affiliated with the Oregon State University have managed to describe the process of formation and development of a new seep of methane. It is in a location where methane is believed to escape from a secret reservoir that is located somewhere underground and into the ocean. The exact place in the ocean where the reservoir spills is called the Ross Sea and it is part of the High Antarctic.
According to Dr. Andrew Thurber, who is a marine ecologist affiliated with the College of Earth of Earth and the Department of Microbiology at Oregon State University, methane is in fact the second-most effective gas when it comes to warming up the atmosphere of our planet. The Antarctica actually has incredible reservoirs that have high chances of opening up once ice sheets retreat, which is something that might happen due to the impact of climate change. Dr. Thurber continued by explaining that this is a very important discovery that might in fact assist in filling an immense hole in the current understanding of the scientific community regarding the cycle that methane has on our planet.
Methane is, in fact, a greenhouse gas that is more than 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide is when it comes to warming up Earth. Most of the methane that is found in the water of the ocean and sediment is kept at a big distance from the atmosphere by the microbes that consume it.
Back in 2011, a large microbial mat was formed at a small depth, about 10 meters, at the location of Cinder Cones in the McMurdo Sound that is located within the Ross Sea. Thurber went as far as explaining the fact that the Cinder Cones seep was found in a region that researchers have been looking into for more than half a decade.