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Warning over Siberian permafrost thaw

Posted on Saturday, 23 February, 2013 | Comment icon 35 comments | News tip by: Still Waters

Image credit: DmitrySA

A new study suggests that if the temperatures rises another 1.5C the permafrost could melt completely.

Such an outcome could contribute to a runaway greenhouse effect with more than one trillion tons of carbon dioxide and methane expected to be released in to the atmosphere in the event that the permafrost does thaw out. A large number of roads, industries and power lines are also built on top of the permafrost meaning that the country's infrastructure could be severely impacted if it were to melt.

The results from the study were obtained by investigating stalactites and stalagmites in caves where the frozen permafrost layers can be directly observed. By looking back at the history of the ice researchers were able to determine when it last thawed and what temperature would be needed for that to happen again.

"Evidence from Siberian caves suggests that a global temperature rise of 1."

  View: Full article |  Source: BBC News

  Discuss: View comments (35)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #26 Posted by Babe Ruth on 23 February, 2013, 21:04
Maybe a year ago, I happened to catch this video of 2 Russian fellows out tromping in the woods in northern Russia somewhere, maybe Siberia. Flat wooded land, with what looked like 6 or 8 inches of old snow covering all the ground. I suppose it would qualify as permafrost. One guy carried a shovel type tool and the other carried a small flame on a wick or something. The one guy would dig a small hole in the snow and ground, the other would hold the flame in the hole, and voila, burning methane. Pretty cool to watch, but not nice to contemplate.
Comment icon #27 Posted by chopmo on 24 February, 2013, 0:45
Meh... I already pay a tax and higher cost of living because of this crap. :@
Comment icon #28 Posted by pitchp on 24 February, 2013, 5:52
if it happens it happens, that's just the way it is
Comment icon #29 Posted by Atentutankh-pasheri on 24 February, 2013, 9:07
Likely it was the swamps of Nindalf
Comment icon #30 Posted by Sundew on 25 February, 2013, 2:26
"Release the mammoths!"
Comment icon #31 Posted by Major Payne on 25 February, 2013, 2:33
Am I to understand from the original article that they have found the temperature needed to thaw the permafrost from the evidence of previous thawings? i am also "assuming" that there was no runaway greenhouse effect in the previous thawings because i am "here" to write this post. The question then arises if there has been no greenhouse effect how do they know one will happen this time. They have put a lot of research into the thawing but I am not seeing much except speculation regarding "Runaway Greenhouse".
Comment icon #32 Posted by Br Cornelius on 25 February, 2013, 7:39
Current conditions are somewhat unique in the last few million years. Br Cornelius
Comment icon #33 Posted by Frank Merton on 25 February, 2013, 7:58
I don't know about runaway greenhouse effects; the point made above that it didn't happen with previous warmings is well taken, but as Cornelius says, things are different now (mainly because of human activity). The danger is perhaps small, but the consequences horrendous. The risk management formula therefore says, "Don't risk it." Unfortunately we may have already risked it. I would encourage research into ways of capturing green-house gases out of the atmosphere and what might end up being our only salvation.
Comment icon #34 Posted by lone wolf2 on 27 February, 2013, 11:27
Green house gasses are naturaly occuring and so is global warming. We are just speeding up the prosses.
Comment icon #35 Posted by lone wolf2 on 27 February, 2013, 11:41
One thing i know its caused is higher prices on auto repairs. Soon cars will be like the 18wheelers. Anything goes wrong it has to go to the dealer to be repaired. They wont run after you change a part untill you log into The computer with the factory programs.

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