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posted by martyb on Sunday January 09, @09:27AM   Printer-friendly
from the Red-Adair dept.

Turkmenistan's leader wants 'Gates of Hell' fire put out:

The president of Turkmenistan is calling for an end to one of the country's most notable but infernal sights — the blazing natural gas crater widely referred to as the "Gates of Hell."

The desert crater located about 260 kilometers (160 miles) north of the capital, Ashgabat, has burned for decades and is a popular sight for the small number of tourists who come to Turkmenistan, a country which is difficult to enter.

The Turkmen news site Turkmenportal said a 1971 gas-drilling collapse formed the crater, which is about 60 meters (190 feet) in diameter and 20 meters (70 feet) deep. To prevent the spread of gas, geologists set a fire, expecting the gas to burn off in a few weeks.

[...] The spectacular if unwelcome fire that has burned ever since is so renowned that state TV showed President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov speeding around it in an off-road truck in 2019.

But Berdymukhamedov has ordered his government to look for ways to put the fire out because it is causing ecological damage and affecting the health of people living in the area, state newspaper Neitralny Turkmenistan reported Saturday.


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  • (Score: 2) by EvilSS on Monday January 10, @04:45AM (3 children)

    by EvilSS (1456) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 10, @04:45AM (#1211414)

    Releasing CO2 into the atmosphere sure is better than releasing methane into the atmosphere.

    Is that really true?

    Your link appears to say yes, that is true.

    "Methane is more than 25 times as potent as carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere.

    So again, yes your link says that is really true.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 10, @07:55PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 10, @07:55PM (#1211586)

    Methane is broken up by direct sunlight, co2 not so much.

    • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Tuesday January 11, @03:41AM

      by Immerman (3985) on Tuesday January 11, @03:41AM (#1211690)

      It takes a long time though. And when it does finally break down... it becomes CO2.

    • (Score: 2) by EvilSS on Tuesday January 11, @05:49AM

      by EvilSS (1456) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 11, @05:49AM (#1211720)
      1 mole of methane produces 1 mole of CO2 when burned. Being 25x more efficient at being a greenhouse gas than CO2 means in the short term, it is far worse. It can last up to 120 years below the troposphere. When it does break down, it does so into water and CO2, so you end up with the CO2 anyway, plus water vapor high in the atmosphere where it too acts as greenhouse gas.