Methane in Seafloor Released During Periods of Rapid Climate Warming

Scientists have found new evidence indicating that during periods of rapid climate warming methane gas has been released periodically from the seafloor in intense eruptions. In a study published in the current issue of the journal Science, Kai-Uwe Hinrichs and colleagues Laura Hmelo and Sean Sylva of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) provide a direct link between methane reservoirs in coastal marine sediments and the global carbon cycle, an indicator of global warming and cooling.

Gov't researchers discover new life in deep ocean floor

In a modern-day odyssey of exploration, researchers from the Department of Energy’s Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory endured grueling shifts on remote ocean drill rigs to get frozen cores of mud. Then came painstaking lab work, analyzing the microbial inhabitants of the deep seafloor sediment. The reward: discovering new life and gaining new insight into the microscopic creators of the largest frozen methane pools on the planet.