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Permafrost


Papers
  1. -As Permafrost Thaws, Risks Rise (New York Times)
      "A recent estimate suggests that the perennially frozen ground known as permafrost, which underlies nearly a quarter of the Northern Hemisphere, contains twice as much carbon as the entire atmosphere." 12-11

  2. -Massive Craters Emerge From Melting Permafrost (ThinkProgress.org)
      "While staring down into the abyss of these craters is a scary thought, the release of large quantities of greenhouse gases from melting permafrost is existentially daunting. A study from earlier this year found that melting permafrost soil, which typically remains frozen all year, is thawing and decomposing at an accelerating rate. This is releasing more methane into the atmosphere, causing the greenhouse effect to increase global temperatures and creating a positive feedback loop in which more permafrost melts." 'The world is getting warmer, and the additional release of gas would only add to our problems,' said Jeff Chanton, the John Widmer Winchester Professor of Oceanography at Florida State and researcher on the study. According to Chanton, if the permafrost completely melts, there would be five times the current amount of carbon equivalent in the atmosphere." 08-14

  3. -Permafrost May Yield Gigantic Amounts of CO2 (Redorbit.com)
      "A study released Wednesday, based on UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scenarios, warns that global warming could cause up to 60 percent of the world’s permafrost to thaw by 2200 releasing huge amounts of carbon into the atmosphere increasing the rate of climate change, AFP is reporting."

      "NSIDC scientists used a computer model to predict how much carbon the thawing permafrost would release and came up with the staggering figure of 190 gigatons by 2200. 'That’s the equivalent of half the amount of carbon that has been released into the atmosphere since the dawn of the industrial age. That’s a lot of carbon,' NSIDC scientist Kevin Schaefer, the lead author of the study says.” 09-12

  4. -Undersea Methane May Speed Climate Change (USA Today)
      "It lurks beneath the sea."

      "No, not The Blob, but something perhaps far more sinister: methane, a potent greenhouse gas 30 times better than carbon dioxide at trapping atmospheric heat."

      "Research released Thursday finds that underground methane appears to be seeping through the Arctic Ocean floor and into the Earth's atmosphere, thanks to a weakening of the protective layer of permafrost at the bottom of the ocean. Once released into the atmosphere, methane could wreak havoc with the world's climate.” 03-10

  5. Arctic Melt Is Releasing Methane (BBC News)
      "Scientists have identified thousands of sites in the Arctic where methane that has been stored for many millennia is bubbling into the atmosphere." 03-14

  6. Permafrost Disappearing (Scientific American)
      "The top 11 feet of soil in the Arctic continues to thaw. Sinkholes are opening, highways buckling, houses and forests tilting, all of which is wreaking havoc on landscapes, wildlife and cities from Murmansk to Juneau. This permafrost layer--defined as soil that remains icy cold for more than two years--covers nearly a quarter of the land in the Northern Hemisphere. But that total is shrinking and new models show that it may nearly disappear by the end of this century."

      "Even more troubling, this permafrost layer contains anywhere from 20 to 60 percent of the carbon trapped in soils in the world." 12-05

  7. Permafrost Disappearing (Scientific American)
      "The top 11 feet of soil in the Arctic continues to thaw. Sinkholes are opening, highways buckling, houses and forests tilting, all of which is wreaking havoc on landscapes, wildlife and cities from Murmansk to Juneau. This permafrost layer--defined as soil that remains icy cold for more than two years--covers nearly a quarter of the land in the Northern Hemisphere. But that total is shrinking and new models show that it may nearly disappear by the end of this century."

      "Even more troubling, this permafrost layer contains anywhere from 20 to 60 percent of the carbon trapped in soils in the world." 12-05

  8. Permafrost Good News--Almost (DiscoverMagazine.com)
      "Permafrost—soil that’s below the freezing temperature of water for at least two years—exists at both poles and in other cold regions and contains about 1,400 gigatons of trapped carbon in total. That’s more than there is in the atmosphere now. As global warming melts that permafrost, scientists fear that methane, carbon dioxide, and other greenhouse gasses will escape and accelerate massive climate change."

      "Specifically, they found that methane spiked when melting began, but that it quickly dropped, apparently thanks to methane-munching soil bacteria that absorbed the potent greenhouse gas.”

      "Don’t celebrate yet, though—those bacteria then excrete carbon dioxide, which, though 25 times less harmful as a greenhouse gas than methane, is still not something we’d like more of in the atmosphere." 03-12

  9. Permafrost Melting (Huffington Post)
      "Permafrost lands across Siberia and Alaska that contain vast stores of carbon are beginning to thaw, bringing with it the threat of a big increase in global warming by 2100, a U.N. report said on Tuesday."

      "A thaw would create a vicious circle, since the release of more greenhouse gases would trap more heat in the air and in turn accelerate the melting."

      "That could bring an irreversible, runaway effect." 01-13

  10. Permafrost Thaw Warning (BBC News)
      "Evidence from Siberian caves suggests that a global temperature rise of 1.5C could see permafrost thaw over a large area of Siberia."

      "A study shows that more than a trillion tonnes of the greenhouse gases CO2 and methane could be released into the atmosphere as a result."

      "The records from a particularly warm period called Marine Isotopic Stage 11, which occurred around 400,000 years ago, suggest that warming of 1.5C compared to the present is enough to cause substantial thawing of permafrost - even in areas far north from its present-day southern limit." 03-14

  11. Permafrost Thaw Warning (BBC News)
      "The huge expanse of western Siberia is thawing for the first time since its formation, 11,000 years ago."

      "The area, which is the size of France and Germany combined, could release billions of tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere."

      "Western Siberia has warmed faster than almost anywhere on the planet, with average temperatures increasing by about 3C in the last 40 years." 03-14

  12. Siberian Methane Leaks Offer a Potential Threat (USA Today)
      "Gas locked inside Siberia's frozen soil and under its lakes has been seeping out since the end of the last ice age 10,000 years ago. But in the past few decades, as the Earth has warmed, the icy ground has begun thawing more rapidly, accelerating the release of methane — a greenhouse gas 23 times more powerful than carbon dioxide — at a perilous rate."

      "Katey Walter Anthony, of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, has been measuring methane seeps in Arctic lakes in Alaska, Canada and Russia, starting here around Chersky 10 years ago."

      "More than 50 billion tons could be unleashed from Siberian lakes alone, more than 10 times the amount now in the atmosphere, she said."

      "But the rate of defrosting is hard to assess with the data at hand."

      "The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in its 2010 Arctic Report Card issued last month, said the average temperature of the permafrost has been rising for decades, but noted 'a significant acceleration' in the last five years at many spots on the Arctic coast." 11-10

  13. World's Largest Peat Bog Is Melting (Guardian Unlimited)
      "Researchers who have recently returned from the region found that an area of permafrost spanning a million square kilometres - the size of France and Germany combined - has started to melt for the first time since it formed 11,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age."

      "The area, which covers the entire sub-Arctic region of western Siberia, is the world's largest frozen peat bog and scientists fear that as it thaws, it will release billions of tonnes of methane, a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere." 05-06

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