Corvallis, Ore. — The discovery of the first active methane seep in Antarctica is providing scientists new understanding of the methane cycle and the role methane found in this region may play in warming the planet.   A methane seep is a location where methane gas escapes from an underground reservoir and into the ocean. Methane seeps have been found throughout the world’s oceans, but the one discovered in the Ross Sea was the first active seep found in Antarctica, said Dr. Andrew Thurber, a marine ecologist and microbiologist at Oregon State University. Riddles in the cold:  Antarctic endemism and microbial succession impact methane cycling in the Southern Ocean;;