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Massive craters on the floor of the Barents Sea were formed around 12,000 years ago, but are still seeping methane and other gases. | ANDREIA PLAZA FAVEROLA/CAGE
Climate

Thawing Arctic Glaciers Released ‘Explosive’ Methane — and Could Do So Again

Twelve-thousand-year-old craters on the floor of the Barents Sea suggest that large methane releases from the Arctic could occur abruptly as human-caused climate change worsens.

The study area is in Bjørnøyrenna close to the Arctic archipelago Svalbard. | K. Andreassen/CAGE
The craters are connected to deeper gas chimneys, showing gas flow from deeper hydrocarbon reservoirs. Hundreds of gas flares are seen in the water above. | M. Winsborrow/CAGE