Recent pictures of methane bubbles in northern lakes are stunningly beautiful. We used to explain the familiar bubbles like these (but unfrozen of course) in an Alabama lake or in the bayou along the Mississippi coast as “swamp gas” – not “natural gas.” Same thing. Today’s “natural” gas is swamp gas from millions of years ago when plants and phytoplankton died and decayed into minerals and gases trapped in rock or as frozen hydrates. Swamp gas, then, is a energy-releasing carbon fuel. You can …

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