by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Arctic waters absorbed vast amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, creating a cooling effect that’s 230 times greater than the warming from methane emitted from underwater seeps, according to a new study.
The findings are a complete reversal of what scientists previously believed — that methane seeps in the Arctic Ocean were contributing to global warming.
“If what we observed near Svalbard occurs more broadly at similar locations around the world, it could mean that methane seeps have a net cooling effect on climate, not a warming effect as we previously thought,” John Pohlman, a U.S. Geological Survey biochemist and lead author of the study, said in a statement Monday.
If the results hold, Pohlman’s study could have big implications for how scientists calculate the global carbon “budget” and for future projections of global warming.