❝ Researchers have confirmed the widespread release of ancient carbon from melting Arctic permafrost in what could be the lit fuse on a climate-change bomb.
A paper published this week in Nature Geoscience has released the first measurements of greenhouse gases from permafrost under Arctic lakes. But while the study confirms those gases locked away in ice for thousands of years are seeping free, it concludes the amounts are not yet large.
❝ Scientists have long known that permafrost contains vast quantities of carbon in dead plants and other organic material, about twice as much as the entire atmosphere. Now, that permafrost is melting more quickly as the Arctic warms up faster than anywhere else on Earth…
❝ Researchers looked at lakes in Alaska and Siberia, as well as data from Canada. They used aerial photographs and other information to measure how the area had changed over the last 60 years.
They found that, across the Arctic, the amount of gas being released from a lake was directly related to its expansion. The more permafrost was melted around the water’s edge, the bigger the lake became, and the more greenhouse gases were released.
The team captured some of those gases and subjected them to radiocarbon dating. They found the gases had been generated from carbon stored for anywhere between 10,000 and 30,000 years…
❝ Models suggest that over the next 90 years, greenhouse gas releases from permafrost will be 100 times higher than the levels Walter Anthony measured.
That hasn’t begun to happen, yet. No accelerated rate. No “explosion”, yet.
Devotees of philosophical and political systems embracing sophistry will welcome the news. Sit around doing nothing, whining about folks who see a need for responsible action.
Know-nothings, especially the Congressional flavor, won’t even be that concerned.
OTOH, folks who comprehend the predictive aspect of scientific research will continue the fight to mobilize political and social response to climate change.