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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."

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 Source: BBC News


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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #11 Posted by pallidin on 26 July, 2013, 17:51
It would be easier to list things that weren't a ticking time bomb anymore. Fear mongering and the sky is falling mentality at every turn in today's society. I promise you this, when the planet has had enough, it will heal itself even if it means making humans extinct. 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
This has been known for some time now. Its why the reactively sedate rise in global temperatures so far is no source of comfort to those who understand this methane threat. Br Cornelius 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
Much more conservative to the point that it probably won't happen. That's kind of like saying that the sun MIGHT go supernova tomorrow because we know that it's going to happen at some point in the next few million years. And I hold to my ascertain that the entire discussion needs less scare tactics such as this because it erodes the credibility of climate change supporters in the eye of the general public and just gives more ammunition to deniers. Look how the media exploded when it came out last week that many of the doom and gloom predictions of the past 15 years probably aren't going to ha... [More]
Comment icon #14 Posted by Br Cornelius on 26 July, 2013, 22:39
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. 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
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. 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
Yes!! Let us impose massive new government programs, so that our government can regulate the planetary climate and save us from the Manbearpig monster. 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
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 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
I'm still waiting for the evidence that mankind was a key player in any one of those 'before' events.... 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 exploded. 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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