“Methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, but it has a shorter life of about a decade. Ultimately it oxidizes to become carbon dioxide which then stays in the atmosphere for more than a hundred years.”
In recent years scientists have learned that liquid water lurks under much of Antarctica’s massive ice sheet, and so, they say, the potential microbial habitat in this watery world is huge. If the methane produced by the bacteria gets trapped beneath the ice and builds up over long periods of time — a possibility that is far from certain — it could mean that as ice sheets melt under warmer temperatures, they would release large amounts of heat-trapping methane gas.”
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