Saturday, September 13, 2008

Amount of Greenhouse Gases in Permafrost Double Previous Estimates

One of the most feared positive feedback mechanisms that could propel global warming is the melting of permafrost containing large amounts of carbon dioxide and methane. It now appears that the vast amounts of greenhouse gases that are stored in permafrost are even greater than previous estimates, in fact, about twice as much. According to an article in scientists have published a report in the journal Bioscience in which they describe arriving at this new calculation by reanalyzing data from Russia and digging far deeper into the permafrost areas than has been done before. The results suggest that the potential for permafrost to melt, release greenhouses gases which further increase the global temperature and thereby melt more permafrost and so forth is even worse than has been thought. This recent finding seems to make it even more urgent to quickly get greenhouse gas emissions under control. Permafrost has been called a ticking time bomb. That about sums it up.

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