Scientists say Mother Nature may have gas

Scientists say Mother Nature may have gas
NBC News
Weather Talk

POSTED: Sunday, August 10, 2014 - 1:38pm

UPDATED: Monday, August 11, 2014 - 12:06pm

As you may recall, scientists were baffled by the mysterious holes popping up around Siberia, and now scientists are saying this could be a side effect Mother Nature is undergoing thanks to global warming. 

Last month, the first Siberian crater appeared, both fascinating and terrifying locals who found the massive hole in the Earth.

Then a few days later, people discovered a second one and shortly after a third. 

According to NBC News, Russian researchers who explored the crater sites now believe the long-frozen Siberian permafrost thawed due to increased temperatures, collapsed and let free methane gas trapped beneath, the team told the science journal Nature, giving Mother Nature "gas"

The team tested the air near the bottom of the holes and discovered an unusually high concentration of methane. 

The holes are likely the direct result of unusually warm 2012 and 2013 summers in the area of the craters, said the Russian crater research team that spoke to Nature.

According to NBC News, the team, led by Alexei Plekhanov of the Scientific Centre of Arctic Studies, said the past two summers were warmer than usual by about five degrees Celsius, thawing the long frozen earth, but one or two hot summers aren't necessarily the result of global warming. 

But other researchers attributed the holes to a long-term thaw that's a result of global warming.

These researchers say the craters are physical manifestation of the damage we are doing to the Earth.

Of course, not all areas mirror the Arctic's permafrost- and natural-gas-heavy geology, so the physical effect on other parts of the Earth may not be holes but something else entirely. 

Did you know: when methane is released into the atmosphere, it warms up the planet. Researchers say that warming, in turn, thaws permafrost and releases more methane starting the cycle anew.

What else will Mother Nature endure, and how will she respond? Could this lead to more massive holes around the Earth?

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