Suddenly everyone’s talking about the methane-driven oceanic eruption and mass extinction theories of Dr. Gregory Ryskin, claiming that elevated methane levels from the oil spill could cause the end of mankind.Absent from this discussion has been Ryskin, who Northwestern University says is out of his office until September. The professor gave us the real story by email:
I also want to emphasise that in my theory, methane hydrates (clathrates) do not play any role.
Methane hydrates are the volatile compounds that have been released in large quantities in the Gulf of Mexico. They may suffocate aquatic life or cause a pressure explosion. But they probably won’t poison the atmosphere and destroy 96 per cent of life on earth.
He was talking about “an extremely fast, explosive release of dissolved methane (and other dissolved gases…) that accumulated in the oceanic water masses.” For more on Ryskin’s methane theories, he said we should watch this video from 2007.
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