The moon has an effect on methane emissions from the Arctic Ocean. That’s the conclusion of a study published in Nature Communications, which found that tidal rhythms play a role in the intensity and frequency of emissions from sediments in the northern part of the Earth.
Lower tides mean more intense emissions, while higher tides reduce the height and volume of gas emissions. “This is the first such observation in the Arctic Ocean. It means that small changes in pressure can release significant amounts of methane. This changes our understanding of the processes fundamentally,” said Jochen Knies, co-author of the study from the Center for Arctic Gas Hydrates, Environment and Climate at the Arctic University of Norway.
Methane is an extremely powerful greenhouse gas. Once released into the atmosphere, it has 86 times more potential to retain a theme than carbon dioxide before it decays in one or two decades, Scientific American notes.