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Melting permafrost in Svalbard, Norway | Jeff Vanuga/Getty Images
Climate

Here’s What Scientists Know About the Risk of a Massive Global Methane Release

Rising global temperatures are melting areas of permafrost that hold enormous stores of planet warming gases — but the risk of a doomsday methane bomb remains low.

Katey Walter Anthony, a Water and Environmental Resource Center Researcher at the Univeristy of Alaska Fairbanks, fires off a plume of methane from a local Fairbanks pond in November 2009. The methane lies trapped within the ice and seeps from thermokarst lake sediments below. | University of Alaska, Fairbanks