Monday, July 24, 2017

THAWING PERMAFROST COULD RELEASE MUCH MORE METHANE THAN PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT

 A team of researchers at the German Research Centre for Geosciences has discovered another major source of emissions of methane that would result from the thawing of tundras. These seeps from ancient gas deposits underneath the frozen ground have been known about for a while, but until now, they have been poorly understood.
 This new study was conducted over 10,000 square kilometres of the Mackenzie Delta in Canada. In this land, it was found that the seeps were responsible for 17 percent of the total greenhouse gas emissions from the land even though they comprised of about one percent of the area.
 One of the most feared scenarios of global warming is that as the temperature rises, the vast amount of organic material currently trapped in ice could be released into the atmosphere, causing an even more vicious effect on the global temperature.
 “We were a bit surprised … we saw these very strong emissions. It means a very tiny fraction of the area produces quite a big share of the estimated annual emissions," said Professor Torsten Sachs, one of the researchers behind this study. “And that tells us maybe we should not just focus on biogenic methane production in the upper lawyers of the permafrost, but pay a bit more attention to this potential effect."
Read more about this fascinating story at: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/thawing-permafrost-global-warming-climate-change-glaciers-antarctic-threat-mackenzie-delta-a7849211.html
Photo: Methane bubbles in Abraham Lake, Alberta, Canada via  juneaidrao on Flickr

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