While the American news media remains focused on the winks of Sarah Palin and the nods of Ben Bernanke, the British media reports on two disturbing scientific findings. An international team scientists aboard a research vessel traveling Russia’s north coast has encountered plumes of methane emerging from the Arctic ocean at 100 times the typical rate, enough to cause the sea to foam. The scientists interpret this as a sign that permafrost underneath the ocean, previously known to be trapping methane gas, has been melting.
In the very same week last month, British scientists working off the west of the Norwegian island of Svalbard reported an independent find of hundreds of such methane plumes.
Despite the potential threat of methane gas (a greenhouse gas 20 times more powerful than carbon dioxide) to our the world’s agricultural, economic and coastal security, not one mainstream news outlet in the United States has picked up on this story. Will the news have to bubble up from below?