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Arctic methane a 'ticking time bomb'

Posted on Friday, 26 July, 2013 | Comment icon 20 comments

Image credit: NOAA

The release of large quantities of methane gas could have dire environmental and economic consequences.

An important consideration in relation to climate change, the impact of methane gas being released from Arctic permafrost due to rising temperatures has mostly slipped under the radar. Researchers believe that not only will this result in a rise in sea levels but the economic cost of increased flooding, agricultural damage and the impact on human health could cost upwards of $60 trillion.

"That's an economic time bomb that at this stage has not been recognized on the world stage," said research author Prof Gail Whiteman. "We think it's incredibly important for world leaders to really discuss what are the implications of this methane release and what could we indeed do about it to hopefully prevent the whole burst from happening."

"Scientists say that the release of large amounts of methane from thawing permafrost in the Arctic could have huge economic impacts for the world."

  View: Full article |  Source: BBC News

  Discuss: View comments (20)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #11 Posted by pallidin on 26 July, 2013, 17:51
How so? Planet Earth is big rock in space. You speak as if the Earth itself is some type of living creature, ready and able to "dust-off" the parasites that live on it.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Zaphod222 on 26 July, 2013, 17:59
Yes!! Let us impose massive new government programs, so that our government can regulate the planetary climate and save us from the Manbearpig monster. One thing is for sure: government nomenclatura all over the world just *love* the gullible.
Comment icon #13 Posted by Br Cornelius on 26 July, 2013, 22:35
Wrong, he says it will take a few centuries to happen. that is his informed opinion. There is ample paleogeological evidence to say that beyond a certain temperature it has happened previously - and will happen again. The only scenario which is all but impossible is that if we continue warming the planet "it probably won't happen". You should go to Schmidts Twitter page and read what he said in full. Br Cornelius
Comment icon #14 Posted by Br Cornelius on 26 July, 2013, 22:39
You seem to be threatened by the possibility that your lifestyle might be a problem. Is your bubble bursting You seem to have a religious belief (faith - belief without evidence) that man can never effect his environment - despite all the evidence to the contrary. Its that conservative certainty thing ain't it Br Cornelius
Comment icon #15 Posted by Br Cornelius on 26 July, 2013, 22:40
There's a lot of faith based thinking around here. I thought we were in a science discussion. Br Cornelius
Comment icon #16 Posted by Doug1o29 on 26 July, 2013, 23:33
I don't see why you love high taxes and government regulation. What we need to move forward is termination of some subsidies and get rid of the legal restrictions on conservation. That's not more government - that's less. Doug
Comment icon #17 Posted by dibatag on 27 July, 2013, 5:56
It's all happened before, warm then ice age warm then ice age, maybe the cycles inbtween are getting shorter because of us and our industrial activity
Comment icon #18 Posted by kwin on 28 July, 2013, 6:01
I'm still waiting for the evidence that mankind was a key player in any one of those 'before' events....
Comment icon #19 Posted by Br Cornelius on 28 July, 2013, 9:19
You will wait a long time - he wasn't around when these events happened previously. That has nothing to do with the likelyhood of a man induced methane pulse though. Br Cornelius
Comment icon #20 Posted by Raptor Witness on 29 July, 2013, 21:15
The "bomb" has already The tipping point has been reached. The only thing left to do is to figure out where to hide a few hundred million bodies, without their decomposition contributing to the problem. Perhaps we should begin the captive breeding of sharks now.

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