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Trapped permafrost gases could be released

Posted on Saturday, 27 October, 2012 | Comment icon 33 comments | News tip by: Hilander

Image credit: NOAA

Large quantities of greenhouse gases could be released in to the atmosphere over the next century.

It is believed that as much as 850 billion tons of carbon and 44 billion tons of nitrogen are stored within the Arctic permafrost, a ticking time bomb of greenhouse gases that could be released as the ground warms up over the next few decades. If that were to happen then the gases would contribute substantially to global warming, further exacerbating the existing problem.

"While the permafrost of the polar latitudes may seem distant and disconnected from the daily activities of most of us, its potential to alter the planet's habitability when destabilized is very real," said US Geological Survey director Marcia McNutt.

"The release of carbon and nitrogen in permafrost could exacerbate the warming phenomenon and will impact water systems on land and offshore according to USGS scientists and their domestic and international collaborators."

  View: Full article |  Source: Science Daily

  Discuss: View comments (33)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #24 Posted by Kazoo on 2 November, 2012, 17:43
It would be a better place for no one. We depend on each other as a species to provide for the needs of each other. Those millions of strangers you will have no problem dying also support our future children. Maybe if they live in an amish farm hidden from civilzation it could totally work. If not then the future kids are screwed.
Comment icon #25 Posted by Br Cornelius on 2 November, 2012, 18:15
They are screwed anyway if nothing changes. Better to change things now and offer them some hope for a viable future. Still, i seriously believe that we will not make it into that better future with the projected levels of population growth and everyone aspiring to my modest lifestyle. No easy answers for us humans. Br Cornelius
Comment icon #26 Posted by Little Fish on 2 November, 2012, 19:26
these types broke into a mink farm and released them into the wild, the mink killed all the wild birdlife for miles around. then they rounded up urban foxes in the cities and released lorry loads of them into the country, a single fox will kill all hens it encounters, a lot of the local egg producers were wiped out, these weren't corporate battery farms, these were mr and mrs free range operations selling roadside eggs to supplement their meager incomes, dozens of foxes ended up being shot. Also poisoned the fox hunt dogs which also kills local employment. idiots don't know what they ... [More]
Comment icon #27 Posted by stevewinn on 2 November, 2012, 19:35
Yet again the scare tactics used in the climate debate are evident, 850 Billion Tons of Carbon Could Be Released, oh no, were doomed. what a load of crap. - i mean have people forgot everything they were taught in school - even the basics of free thinking? 4.5Billion years of evolution - and the world is ending with us. no bloody chance. The pages of history show us a warmer earth results in a greater biodiversity and when the earth cools the biodiversity also decreases. i've said it before look at the present day - life is most abundant in the warmer parts of the world such as the tropics... [More]
Comment icon #28 Posted by Little Fish on 2 November, 2012, 19:45
any climate threat will come from a global ice age. some perspective:
Comment icon #29 Posted by Br Cornelius on 2 November, 2012, 19:53
Steve, No one is claiming that the world is ending because of us. The world will continue, but the world we need to survive may not. To the world this matters not one tiny jot since it has been through 6 mass extinctions in its long history. Unfortunately we are not the world and we will certainly regret having destroyed the equilibrium of a system on which have come to depend on having a very narrow set of environmental variables. For most that going to be terminal - for some they will probably survive into a very different future. I don't know what hole you pulled the time scale of 100y... [More]
Comment icon #30 Posted by Kazoo on 2 November, 2012, 19:53
They thought that along time ago too. But then boom. Science created more efficient ways to grow crops. Humanity saved. With all the amazing technology we have today. I'm sure we'll be fine as long as we stop people from purposely withholding for capitalist purposes.
Comment icon #31 Posted by pallidin on 2 November, 2012, 19:56
I assume this gaseous release is a slow release(decades/centuries/many centuries) But I am no expert in that field. As was suggested earlier in this thread, this has happened before, with no truly catastrophic consequences. However, that was before we started dumping serious pollutants into the very air we breath. I am going to hold from a firm opinion at this time...
Comment icon #32 Posted by Professor Buzzkill on 2 November, 2012, 19:59
And as long as we don't destroy the capitalist system that encourages technological advancements in the name of climate change
Comment icon #33 Posted by Little Fish on 2 November, 2012, 20:23
all this malthusian indoctrination about population. human population is largely in decline. the west and other "first world" countries, china, russia are all in population decline, developing nations such as india are stabilising. the only place where population is increasing is in africa and black skinned countries. if you want to reduce the population, then you should be lobbying for reducing the black population. edit - before anyone gets upset with that, the way to reduce population growth in african countries is by letting them develop independently, economically and education... [More]

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