A new study that has been accepted and will be published shortly in Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems suggests that rising temperatures in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Washington and Oregon are causing the release of methane gas (a much talked about greenhouse gas) 1/3 of a mile beneath the ocean surface.
Under normal conditions, methane at this depth is a solid and is safely stored away for thousands of years. However, with the rise of the temperature of the ocean, the methane is transitioning into a gas and bubbling up through the ocean. Most of the methane bubbling up does not reach the surface. It gets eaten up by microbes and converted into carbon dioxide, which in turn contributes to ocean acidification.
The methane in a solid state also helps to stabilize the slope along the seafloor in this area. The solid methane binds the sediment together. It is theorized that if this trend continues, it could destabilize the slope along the Cascadia subduction zone.