“The amount of methane currently coming out of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf is comparable to the amount coming out of the entire world’s oceans,” said Shakhova, a researcher at UAF’s International Arctic Research Center. “Subsea permafrost is losing its ability to be an impermeable cap.”
Methane is considered a major tipping point. Once the planet has warmed up enough to start releasing methane from all of our permafrost, things would really take off from there. All of the predictions about temperature increases would seem highly conservative. That process may have just begun.