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Wednesday, 23 December 2015
Climate Change - Permafrost and greenhouse gases
Arctic permafrost – ground that has been frozen for many thousands of years – is now thawing because of global climate change.
“The release of greenhouse gases resulting from thawing Arctic permafrost could have catastrophic global consequences,” said
Dr. Max Holmes, a Senior Scientist at the Woods Hole Research Center (WHRC).
Schematic diagram of
es and permafrost.
Graphic by John Garrett.
Thawing permafrost releases greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide and methane) into the atmosphere, which accelerate climate change, which in turn cause more thawing of the permafrost.
Some scientists fear that this potentially unstoppable and self-reinforcing cycle could produce a dangerous "tipping point".
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