Over at Watts Up With That, Anthony Watts has highlighted a recent press release from the German Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research Kiel announcing the preliminary findings from an expedition this summer to the Greenland Sea (off the coast of Spitzbergen). The expedition on the German research vessel the Maria S. Merian was aimed at investigating the release of methane from the seafloor-one of the many potential apocalyptic positive feedback pathways which lead from an initial warming instigated by anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Watts drew attention to the press release because the researchers were reporting that contrary to expectations, the release of methane from the seabed was found not to be a recent phenomenon (i.e., a result of global warming), but instead that many of the gas outlets had been active for long before local ocean temperatures have been rising.
According to the press release:
Above all the fear that the gas emanation is a consequence of the current rising sea temperature does not seem to apply.
And also, although the full details from the expedition's data collections will not be known for several months, the scientists suggested that
[T]he observed gas emanations are probably not caused by human influence.
In Watts' coverage, he contrasted this announcement with a rather alarmist one from a few years ago bemoaning the detection of the dreaded methane positive feedback loop, another step to our climate demise. Watts' headline succinctly summarizes the current situation:
"Remember the panic over methane seeping out of the Arctic seabed in 2009? Never mind."
And this is not the first time that evidence has been found that runs contrary to the methane apocalypse storyline.