Why are these Alaskan lakes bubbling? • Earth.com

Why are these Alaskan lakes bubbling?


Why are these Alaskan lakes bubbling? Today’s Video of the Day comes from NASA Goddard and features a look at why many lakes in Alaska are bubbling. It turns out the lakes are emitting methane released by thawing permafrost from the last Ice Age.

Once the permafrost melts, it causes the ground to sink and fill with water, which form these bubbling lakes known as thermokarst lakes. Lakes across Alaska and Siberia have started to bubble with methane, and the release of this highly potent greenhouse gas has scientists worried. Last month NASA released footage showing the bubbling Arctic lakes, which are the result of a little known phenomenon called “abrupt thawing.”

When methane rises from the lake bottom, the columns of bubbles serve as insulators, slowing ice growth near the bubble column,” explained Engram. “Ice grows more quickly around the column, and you end up with these big divots beneath bubble columns that fill with water.


By Rory Arnold, Earth.com

Video Credit: NASA Goddard

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