Permafrost Melting is Growing Threat


Must say that I was not to put out by the cold, rainy June weather in the Northeast — packing up a house full of books & rushing around getting ready to move are somewhat easier under cool conditions. Rainiest June on record, around here, for sure. Which shouldn’t, however, make one forget that there is a thing called global warming actually happening — and the luke-warm Democratic posturing in Washington doesn’t address it in any meaningful way. From Reuters, here is the latest news via a recent paper in the latest issue of Global Biogeochemical Cycles. (Reuters wants $300 for blog reprint for educational purposes, unless I reprint all their ads too, which I wont do — so here are the opening paras. You can find the whole article here.)

Permafrost melting a growing climate threat

Tue Jun 30, 2009 5:03pm EDT

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – The amount of carbon locked away in frozen soils in the far Northern Hemisphere is double previous estimates and rapid melting could accelerate global warming, a study released on Wednesday says.

Large areas of northern Russia, Canada, Nordic countries and the U.S. state of Alaska have deep layers of frozen soil near the surface called permafrost.

Global warming has already triggered rapid melting of the permafrost in some areas, releasing powerful greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane.

As the world gets warmer, more of these gases are predicted to be released and could trigger a tipping point in which huge amounts of the gases flood the atmosphere, rapidly driving up temperatures, scientists say.

“Massive amounts of carbon stored in frozen soils at high latitudes are increasingly vulnerable to exposure to the atmosphere,” said Pep Canadell, executive director of the Global Carbon Project at Australia’s state-funded Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization.

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4 Responses

  1. Adam Smith says:

    There is simply no evidence that global warming exists, and a mountain of evidence against it. Journal of Geophysical Research had an article examining permafrost in 2007 and found that the warming was seasonal and the active layer was unchanged. Global mean temperatures have not risen for almost a decade while CO2 has risen. And CO2 only constitutes 0.038 of the atmosphere and we contribute about 3% of that amount. I’ve studied climate change for years, and the only thing that scares me is how professional scientists have been corrupted into taking global warming research money. Fortunately, the majority of climatologists do NOT support the hypothesis (it isn’t a theory). They just don’t get the funding.

  2. Jeff says:

    LOL at Adam Smith… many things wrong with that.

    I’d like to see your CV.

  3. Clazy says:

    Jeff, why do you care about Adam Smith’s CV? Why don’t you just tell the rest of us what’s wrong with his comment? Don’t tell me about your CV, I don’t care.

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