The U.S is hedging its bets with the lesser of fossil fuel evils -- natural gas -- as a way to avoid the calamity of climate change. But is this gas really the answer to run away carbon emissions, polar ice caps disappearing and extreme weather woes?
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.