A new study of Antarctic ice suggests that the continent may be harboring enormous stores of methane just beneath surface layers of ice.
Okay, has everybody made their fart jokes? Good. Moving on. The main ingredient of natural gas and a common byproduct of digestion in everything from cows to people to microorganisms, methane is the among the big bads of the greenhouse gas world.
It's super effective at trapping heat, trapping more than 20 times as much heat in the atmosphere than its more well-known cousin, carbon dioxide. Research published in the journal Nature
suggests that there are more than 4 billion metric tons of methane underneath Antarctica's ice sheets.
If that ice melts, releasing the methane stored underneath, the resulting gasses could contribute significantly to climate change. It's like the rich getting richer, only with instead of money, you have a greenhouse gas, and instead of investing wisely, everything melts.