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Giant balls of ‘fire and ice’, that lies under the ocean. We know next to nothing about them.

Frozen bubbles of methane trapped under the Lake Baikal.
(Shutterstock)

Editor’s note: This story was updated at 1:55 p.m. E. D. T. A

BELLEVUE, Wash. There is a vast treasure trove of frozen methane, or “fire ice,” are locked below the surface of the water. If it is, it could trigger tsunamis, landslides and the release of massive amounts of carbon in our warming of the earth’s atmosphere. However, we have no idea how much it is or where to find it.

This is, in part, because of frozen methane on the planet will take a lot longer to form than we previously thought, and that we are only now beginning to understand some of them,,, Ann Cook, a professor in the School of Earth Sciences at The Ohio State University, said in a presentation yesterday (25 June) here at the annual Astrobiology Science Conference. [8 Ways global Warming of the earth Is Already Changing the World]

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Of frozen methane known as methane hydrates, is made from the methane gas molecules are trapped in frozen water crystals. It kind of looks like ice forming at low temperatures and high pressures in the ocean, and is thought to contain from 15% to 40% of the Earth’s carbon, and Cook.

Because of frozen methane stores, many of our planet’s carbon, it is likely to play an important role in the recycling of carbon between the atmosphere and living things. It is also a potential source of energy and is a potential biohazard, ” she said.

If it “melts” the sudden release of methane into the ocean and get caught up in the pressure of the water in the area, which could lead to dangerous landslides and the tsunamis, the Cook told Live Science. Methane is also highly flammable and, in its free form.

In spite of its importance, we are still trying to figure out how much methane hydrate there is in the Earth, and how it can interact with the ocean and the atmosphere,” she said. “We need to understand the way in which it forms and what it looks like in the subseafloor this is everything you need to know.”

The scientists can’t agree on how much methane hydrate lies hidden below the ocean. Most will say that frozen methane will contain 2,000 gigatons of carbon, while others say it is closer to 200 gigatons or even in the 5,000 to 10,000 gigatons bottom of the ocean, ” she said.

of the confusion stems from the fact that it is frozen methane and it takes at least five types, according to a new study that will be published in a future issue of Reviews of Geophysics.

Some of the species are well known, such as the frozen methane is under active methane on the ocean floor comes from. The other species are more surprising, such as those that can be found in the small, sand— all of which are a few meters below the sea floor. “We don’t understand how the methane transport into the thin sand,” Cook said. But I have a few guesses, and they are hoping to put them to the test, by drilling, in these areas, and the collection of the samples.

What’s more, by learning about the frozen methane on the planet, you can help us with to inform them about the possible methane sources on other planets, the Cook.

Frozen methane is sometimes released from the gas to the “peasants”, or the venting at the sea floor or the permafrost environment. It can also be observed in march, Cook said. “Last week, a relatively high level of methane, a measurement on Mars, that suggests we may have the same type of system on Mars, which is really exciting,” she said.

On Earth, the presence of frozen methane, it is still dwarfed by water and other elements. “I can’t imagine that it’s really on the planets where you’d need to moisture to form and then float in the ocean, and [the forms] of icebergs on the gas,” she said during the talk.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to note that the thin sand below the sea floor, not far from the beach.

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Originally published on Live Science.

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