Arctic scientists discover new global
warming threat as melting permafrost
releases millions of tons of a gas 20 times
more damaging than carbon dioxide
In the past few days, the researchers have seen areas of sea foaming with gas bubbling up through "methane chimneys" rising from the sea floor. They believe that the sub-sea layer of permafrost, which has acted like a "lid" to prevent the gas from escaping, has melted away to allow methane to rise from underground deposits formed before the last ice age.
They have warned that this is likely to be linked with the rapid warming that the region has experienced in recent years.
Methane is about 20 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide and many scientists fear that its release could accelerate global warming in a giant positive feedback where more atmospheric methane causes higher temperatures, leading to further permafrost melting and the release of yet more methane.
If you are interested about how we may be able to avert from the disasterous Kevin Costner movie Waterworld, there is a discussion happening in World Changing Blog. They are mostly talking about the pros and cons of geoengineering, and the first thing we should do, regardless of the possiblity of manually removing greenhouse gas or blocking out the sun, is to advance to Zero Impact, now.
I'm just gonna go work on my tan and mentally will myself some gills.