The methane time bomb

Andrew Glikson*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    During much of the upper Cenozoic, the accumulation of organic matter in Polar Regions, as well as in bogs in tropical and subtropical zones, has created large reservoirs of methane, the most potent common greenhouse gas, vulnerable to release upon a rise in temperature. Global warming, driving a mean rise of 3 to 8°C in the Arctic early during 2015- 2018, is leading toward the release of billions of tons of methane into the atmosphere, from permafrost, lakes, shallow seas and sediments. This release threatens to melt large parts of the polar ice caps, leading to meters to tens of meters of sea level rise. Global warming is a major factor leading to the disappearance of species throughout the planet at a rate two orders of magnitude faster than they would have without human interference. Compounding this effect is extensive drilling for coal seam gas, perforating the crust in several parts of the world and releasing commercial and fugitive emissions of methane into the atmosphere. The triggering of methane release induced by anthropogenic transfer of carbon to the atmosphere is leading to a major shift in state of the terrestrial atmosphere and habitats.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)23-29
    Number of pages7
    JournalEnergy Procedia
    Publication statusPublished - 2018
    Event2018 International Carbon Conference, ICC 2018 - Reykjavik, Iceland
    Duration: 10 Sept 201814 Sept 2018


    Dive into the research topics of 'The methane time bomb'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this