This is serious, and unexpected observations concerning the stability of Arctic methane stores, even globally trivial ones, should bring us back to a vastly more important public conversation from last year.
This combined with the threat of releasing vast amounts of the methane into the air over a short period of time is an impending threat to the fragile civilization we built and people should no longer ignore.
While touted as a clean alternative to carbon-intensive coal and oil, our natural gas leaks methane at every step of its production and distribution, from the wellheads in the fields to the burner tips in our homes.
Not so long ago, people who worried about pollution in their local environment had few options. Getting answers required hands-on testing by trained experts with specialized equipment, or finding and sifting through scarce, hard-to-come-by data.
While everyone else is watching the steadily increasing carbon dioxide levels reach and exceed 400 parts per million (0.04 percent of the atmosphere), another group of scientists have been fretting over the Second Greenhouse Gas: methane.
No state has ever seriously considered aggressive leak detection and repair (of if you prefer, the awesomely acronymed LDAR, pronounced El-Dar!) on natural gas infrastructure, but these rules do just that.