On July 22, 2014, only a week into their voyage, the SWERUS-C3 team reported “elevated methane levels, about 10 times higher than background seawater.” They say the culprit in this release of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, may be a tongue of relatively warm water from the Atlantic Ocean, the last remnants of the Gulf Stream, mixing into the Arctic Ocean. A press release is available from the from University of Stockholm where the discovery is described as:
… vast methane plumes escaping from the seafloor of the Laptev continental slope. These early glimpses of what may be in store for a warming Arctic Ocean could help scientists project the future releases of the strong greenhouse gas methane from the Arctic Ocean.
The scientists refer to the plumes as methane mega flares. See the SWERUS-C3 site for further information.