The Fuse Is Burning on Arctic Methane Bomb – NASA

Permafrost, the seemingly permanently frozen soils of the Arctic, are warming up and starting to release unpredicted amounts of carbon dioxide and the more potent greenhouse gas methane, NASA scientists are observing, reports reports Alan Buis at NASA, the National Atmospheric & Space Administration.  Over the millenia, polar soils melt and life blossoms and dies, so that organic carbon soaks into the wet soil, eventually joining the permanently frozen layer. In this way, permafrost has built up vast reservoirs of carbon. Now, with human driven climate change, these soils are warming even faster than the dramatically warming Arctic air above them. Under NASA’s Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment, or CARVE, they are trying to understand the balance of greenhouse gases that will be released as the Arctic warms. If the warming Arctic becomes drier, more carbon dioxide will be released; if wetter, more methane, a far more potent greenhouse gas will be released, triggering a shorter term but much stronger acceleration of global warming and further carbon releases. This, then, could become an uncontrollable, self-driving cycle of global warming.


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NASA Finds ‘Amazing’ Levels Of Arctic Methane And CO2, Asks ‘Is a Sleeping Climate Giant Stirring in the Arctic?’ original report:


About melharte

Mel (Mary Ellen) Harte is a biologist (PhD) and climate change educator. She co-authored the free online book, COOL THE EARTH, SAVE THE ECONOMY, available at www.CoolTheEarth.US, and writes the CLIMATE CHANGE THIS WEEK column at the HuffingtonPost. Living summers in the alpine Rockies, she is on the frontlines of watching what climate change can do. Her diagnostic digital photographs of wildflowers have appeared in numerous publications.
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One Response to The Fuse Is Burning on Arctic Methane Bomb – NASA

  1. Frightening that it can get exponentially worse over a short time…

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