Giant Peat Bog Melting

GIANT PEAT BOG MELTING….The Guardian reports that global warming is causing a gigantic Siberian peat bog to thaw:

The area, which covers the entire sub-Arctic region of western Siberia, is the world’s largest frozen peat bog and scientists fear that as it thaws, it will release billions of tonnes of methane, a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere.

It is a scenario climate scientists have feared since first identifying “tipping points” ? delicate thresholds where a slight rise in the Earth’s temperature can cause a dramatic change in the environment that itself triggers a far greater increase in global temperatures.

….Calculations by Dr [Stephen] Sitch and his colleagues show that even if methane seeped from the permafrost over the next 100 years, it would add around 700m tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere each year….It would effectively double atmospheric levels of the gas, leading to a 10% to 25% increase in global warming, he said.

The Guardian has a bit of tendency to overhype stuff like this, so I’m curious to see how this gets reported elsewhere. Still, it sure isn’t good news.

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