Global warming is changing the environment of the northernmost parts of the world, and that includes Alaska where scientists found a bubbling lake that signals for something very concerning. The Alaskan body of water, known as Esieh Lake, is bubbling due to methane emissions.
Katey Walter Anthony, an associate professor at the University of Alaska Fairbank, debated this discovery with Chris Mooney from the Washington Post, and she said that the gases in the lake do not originate from any lifeforms, and their source is purely geological. As there are fossil fuels just below that region and the permafrost is melting, the bubbling lake in Alaska is a powerful generator of greenhouse gases.
“Across the Arctic, lakes are leaking dangerous greenhouse gases. And one lake is behaving very strangely,” said Chris Mooney on Twitter. He also posted a video of the bubbling lake in Canada, which you can watch here.
A bubbling lake in Alaska emanates methane gas
Permafrost covers the Northern Hemisphere in a proportion of 24% and this ice sheet houses vast amounts of methane, carbon dioxide, and other greenhouse gases. Even more, meltwater contains high levels of sulfuric acid, accelerating erosion and the environment.
In a study issued by Professor Katey Walter Anthony in the Nature Communication journal, the professor revealed that most of the currently-used climate models don’t take into consideration the pockets of methane gas or other greenhouse gases beneath lakes, as in the case of this bubbling lake in Alaska.
As for this newly found bubbling lake in Alaska, this body of water emits a methane gas volume equivalent to 6,000 cows, which is vast and could significantly impact the environment. On the other hand, Esieh Lake could either be a unique geological feature or just one of many lakes that emit greenhouse gases. Further studies would be conducted to estimate the impact of cush bodies of water.
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.