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Re: SC24

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September 08, 2006 11:02PM
Thanks 4 that update.
Additionally, the permafrost that is being uncovered in the arctic areas is releasing methane gas at a rate higher than previously thought possible. Increasing the need to get a handle on this climate change that IS happening every day.
I read about this in yesterdays Las Vegas review journal. The web adress they give to get this article is www.nature.com/nature . But when you go there you need to subscribe to Nature magazine, price 188$ per year. The name of the article is Scientist find new global warming time bomb. This article was written by Seth Borenstein.
Washington-
Global warming gases trapped in the soil are bubbling out of the thawing permafrost in amounts far higher than previously thought and may trigger what researchers warn is a climate time bomb.
Methane a green house gas 23 times more powerful than carbon dioxide, is being released from the permafrost at a rate five times faster than thought, according to a study being published in the journal Nature. The findings are based on new, more accurate measuring techniques.
"The effects can be hugh," said lead author Katey Walter of the University of Alaska at Fairbanks said. "It's coming out a lot and there's a lot more to come out."
Scientist worry about a global warming cycle that was not part of their already gloomy forcast: Warming already underway thaws permafrost, soil that has been continously frozen for thousands of years. Thawed permafrost releases methane and carbon dioxide. Those gases reach the atmosphere and help trap heat on Earth in the greenhouse effect. The trapped heat thaws more permafrost and so on.
"The higher the temperature gets, the more permafrost we melt, the more tendency is to become a more vicious cycle," said Chris Field, global ecology director at the Carnegie Institution of Washington, who was not part of the study. "That's the part that is scary about this whole thing. There are lots of mechanisms that tend to be self- perpetuating and relatively few that tend to shut it off."
Some scientist say this vicious cycle is already under way, but others disagree.
Most of the methane - releasing permafrost is in Siberia. Another study earlier this summer in the journal Science found that the amount of carbon trapped in this type of permafrost, called yedoma, is much more prevalent than originally thought and may be 100 times the amount of carbon released into the air each year by the burning of fossil fuels.
It won't all come out at once or even over several decades, but if temperatures increase, then the methane and carbon dioxide will escape the soil, scientist say.
The permafrost issue has caused a quiet buzz of concern among climate scientist and geologists. Specialist in Arctic climate are coming up with research plans to study the permafrost effect, which is not well understood or obseved, said Robert Corell, chairman of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, a group of 300 scientist.
" It's kind of like a slow motion time bomb," said Ted Schuur, a professor of ecosystem ecology at the University of Florida and co-author of the study in Science.
Most of the yedoma is in little - studied areas of northern Siberia. What makes that permafrost special is that much of it lies under lakes; the carbon below gets released as methane. Carbon beneath dry permafrost is released as carbon dioxide.
Using special under water bubble traps, Walter and her colleagues found giant hot spots of bubbling methane that were never measured before because they were hard to reach.
" I don't think it can be easily stopped; we'd really have to have major cooling for it to stop," Walter said.
Scientist aren't quite sure whether methane or carbon dioxide is worse. Methane is far more powerful in trapping heat, but only last about a decade before it dissipates into carbon dioxide and other chemicals. Carbon dioxide traps heat for about a century.
"The bottom line is it is better if it stays frozen in the ground," Schurr said. "Butt we're getting to the point where it's going more and more into the atmosphere."
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Wizard 998September 06, 2006 11:41PM

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Wizard 568September 08, 2006 08:33PM

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jobe 1147September 08, 2006 11:02PM

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Wizard 555September 15, 2006 11:16PM

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Wizard 504September 17, 2006 10:54AM

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Paul P. 1077September 17, 2006 12:05PM



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