According to an article in Live Science, a huge spike of greenhouse gas release will hit us as global temperatures rise in the Arctic Ocean.
The fuel bound up in organic matter and methane is still locked in subsea permafrost, which was frozen soil that became submerged by 120 meters of seawater toward the end of the Palaeolithic ice age around 18,000 to 14,000 years ago. S. Geographic Survey (USGS).
The permanently frozen layer of Earth, known as the permafrost, is ground that persists below 0°C (32°F) for two or three years, found on land or under ocean. Permafrost may be present above other types of soil as well.
This can be anywhere from a few inches underwater to many miles deep beneath the Earth's crust. Many of the most common permafrost areas are in the Northern Hemisphere. The upper fifth of the Northern Hemisphere is underlain by permafrost, and almost half of the land area is permafrost. It occurs in several places, but mostly on the mountains of the southern hemisphere. Permafrost is widespread in ground ice, but persists in bedrock as well. Permafrost is created by a mixture of loose and frozen dirt, sand, and rock.
Most of the subsea permafrost is found on the continental shelf under the Arctic, said Sayedeh Sara Sayedi, a doctoral student in the department of plant and wildlife science at Brigham Young University in Salt Lake City.
There is minimal, patchy evidence about how much carbon and methane lie trapped in this sediment; as well as how much of that is leaking into the ocean and atmosphere above.
Scientists say the sudden thawing is not a reason for concern. Permafrost would also contain less pollution than our own coal, oil and natural gas combustion. The permafrost thawing was supposed to amplify the climate shift induced by people by about 10 percent before now. If we hope to maintain heating to 2.7 to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius), we're going to have to make the change to clean energies quicker than we expect.
The Arctic is packed with solid ice a tiny portion of the nine million square miles of permafrost. If the soil thaws, the ice disappears, shifting the environment drastically. The planet slumbers in order to fill the gap that once frozen water fills, forming divots on the surface that become pools and even oceans.
The warming ground often shows carbon-rich peatlands trapped for thousands of years in this freezer. These shifts take shape more rapidly than ever in certain areas of the Arctic. Earth slumps have only risen 60 times from 1984 to 2013 on one northern Canadian island.