Newer Older

    A couple days ago, i decided to take a hike up the frozen surface of this small river near the border between the Yukon and Alaska. Naturewalks are never particularly easy in this area ... It's a thick, tangled jungle, and walking on the mossy, lichen carpeted Taiga floor in summer is like climbing across a giant wet sponge, so ... It's easy and inviting to hike up a frozen riverbed at this time of year, particularly if the ice is free of snow cover. At any rate, the clear ice was very thick, nearly 1 meter and filled with amazing patterns caused by bubbles of methane gas trapped within. Seeing these patterns below my feet made the hike into a sort of weird ,eerie experience ..... I've seen this before, but never to this extent. What really should have worried me, however, is this .................................
    Increase in methane production in the Arctic regions is worrisome to the extent that it illustrates what a circular, self amplifying phenomena global warming is .... In fact, this ties into the observation that the warming in the Arctic, ENTIRELY ASIDE FROM THE MELTING OF THE POLAR ICEPACK, may itself be one of the major factors contributing to GLOBAL warming ...... For thousands of years, in the Arctic and SubArctic regions of the planet, the seasonal vegetation has grown, died and been frozen without fully decomposing, meaning that the (now melting!) permafrost of these regions is a huge bank of stored methane gas .... As the permafrost retreats, the methane stored during endless centuries of short summers and long, cold winters is suddenly ( in the geological sense) released, with the potential to become THE SINGLE BIGGEST contributing factor to global warming ....... Tiny Bubbles .......
    ( although some streams still bear meter thick ice, as shown here, our climate in the Yukon remains dramatically warmer than historical norms ...)

    1. D.Y 90 months ago | reply

      How amazing, it looks like stacks of lenticular clouds. I assume it's bubbles trapped in columns as the ice gets progressively thicker?

    2. Explo 90 months ago | reply

      Nice. I have seen the same phenomena every now and then on freezing water, but the structures have always been flatter than this one.

    3. JuttaMK 90 months ago | reply

      Wow. This is cool. Floating ice. What wonderful formations

    4. yeimaya 90 months ago | reply

      ColdTweety Voices:Winter 2007

      You are invited to add one of these images to Voices Winter

      Scary message ice is delivering with such beauty. Post the words to if you would be so kind?

      Seen on your photo stream. (?)

    5. JuttaMK 90 months ago | reply

      Dave - Now that I've read your comments I find these formations even more interesting and VERy scary. These signs of global warming is all around and still the "Flat Earthers" insist that we can just go on our merry way like we've always done. It's Nature's "normal" cycle.
      Just think of the huge permafrost regions in all of Siberia bubbling up methane gas. If that doesn't give you food for thought and hopefully action, I don't know what will.
      Don't stop. You know what they say...A picture is worth a thousand words.

    6. mike_s_etc 88 months ago | reply

      U N R E A L ! ! I have never seen this phenomena before!! Eye-opening on its own; your observations on what it all means is sobering to say the least.

    7. harmoniclight 88 months ago | reply

      Fabululous photo, EXTREMELY interesting comments

    8. Geir Drabløs 86 months ago | reply

      Wow...this is a great capture! 1 m thik ice...and so clear! It is so nice
      to be able to see how deep the gas pocket goes!


      You are definitely a Nature Watcher!
      Please add this photo to www.flickr.com/groups/naturewatching/
      and tag your photo "Nature Watcher"
      invited with SICI


    9. flipkeat 85 months ago | reply

      Unreal! Interesting reading too.......very!! What a shot to see.

    10. wild prairie man 68 months ago | reply

      Outstanding image and astute commentary...

    keyboard shortcuts: previous photo next photo L view in light box F favorite < scroll film strip left > scroll film strip right ? show all shortcuts