“Zombie” greenhouse gases are hidden in permafrost under the Arctic Ocean

Millions of tons of organic carbon and methane under the Arctic Ocean thaw and spill to the surface every year. And climate change could accelerate this launch of greenhouse gases, suggests new research.

carbon organically bound and methane (a carbon atom bonded to four hydrogen atoms) are currently trapped in submarine permafrost, which is a frozen sediment that was covered by 120 meters of seawater by the end of the Paleolithic ice age. 1,800 1,400 years ago, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS). Most of the underwater permafrost is on the continental shelf under the Arctic Ocean, said study author Sayedeh Sara Sayedi, a doctoral student in the Department of Plant and Wildlife Sciences at Brigham Young University in Salt Lake City.