The source of the world’s biggest underwater pool of the powerful greenhouse gas methane has been discovered in the Pacific Ocean by a team of scientists.
The discovery could have implications for humans’ use of the sea as any disturbance could send large amounts of the gas into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change.
Methane’s warming effect is 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide, but there is less of it and it does not last as long in the atmosphere.
There is concern that as the world warms stores of methane frozen in the Arctic tundra and at the bottom of the sea bed could be released, leading to runaway global warming.
But high levels of methane are also being discovered in the water column across vast areas of the ocean.
The largest pool of this methane-rich water – containing up to 50 times the normal amount of the gas – stretches from…