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Old June 18th, 2006, 03:16 PM  
Ancient Gmod
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Name: Kodie
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Default Permafrost melt could speed up global warming

I dont expect you to read all of this I know its big
but this WILL EFFECT YOU and your children so i'm asking you to atleast skim it
the age of exploytation is over WE will be the first generation to really pay for humanitys mistakes
Right now we have roughly 700 billion ton of carbon dioxide in earths atmosphere this is causing earths weather network to destabalize the ten hottest years ever on record happened in the past 14yrs, the hottest was 2005, Katrina was just the begining storms are going to get allot worse and happen allot more often, earths weather system is destabalizing
the arctic is dissapearing ice used to be on average 10-11ft thick its now less then 6ft, chuncks the size of colarado are breaking off. If it dissapears colpletly the oceans will rise by 20ft
goodbye manhatten, half of florida, etc..

There are some threats bigger then terrorism
We are fighting for our very right to live

Permafrost melt could speed up global warming

500 billion tons of extra CO{-2} could be released, study says

Global warming might be significantly worse than expected during the next century because the melting of carbon-rich permafrost in Siberia could expel hundreds of billions of tons of extra greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, scientists warn in a new study.

Experts said they can't be certain how large the impact might be, because they can't accurately estimate how much of the extra greenhouse gases will be absorbed by plants and the oceans.

One of the more frightening possibilities is that the permafrost-caused warming could feed on itself in what one scientist called a "vicious cycle": That is, it could trigger the melting of additional ice, which would unleash more greenhouse gases and thus cause more warming, in a self-repeating cycle for no one knows how long.

The melting of Siberian permafrost that has been frozen for thousands of years could eject about 500 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere during the next century, scientists from Russia, Alaska and Florida report in today's issue of Science. By comparison, at present the atmosphere contains about 700 billion tons of greenhouse gases.

"I'm a scientist, so we tend to be conservative in our language. But I would say this could make global warming significantly worse" than expected, said E.A.G. "Ted" Schurr, a former UC Berkeley doctoral student who is one of the article's three authors. The other authors are Sergey A. Zimov of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Terry Chapin of the University of Alaska at Fairbanks.

Schurr, now a professor of botany at the University of Florida in Gainesville, traveled to Siberia to collect samples of permafrost -- permanently frozen ground rich in carbon-laden dust particles that have accumulated over a million and a half years. He extracted permafrost samples from up to 10 feet beneath the ground, then hauled them back to Florida in standard coolers, stopping from time to time to refreeze the samples in a fridge so they wouldn't melt en route.

When he allowed the permafrost to melt in his lab in Gainesville, microbes attacked and absorbed the carbon, transforming much of it into carbon dioxide gas. Schurr measured the rate of carbon dioxide emission by shining an infrared beam through it. The estimate of 500 billion tons in extra greenhouse emissions was derived partly from this analysis.

Carbon dioxide is the best-known greenhouse gas: It accelerates global warming by trapping infrared radiation before it can leave the atmosphere. Fossil fuels, when burned by cars and factories, are major sources of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Leading climate models haven't incorporated the possibility of a major new greenhouse gas source from Siberia. The new report "makes it kind of scary -- it means there's a form of climate risk that we really haven't got a good handle on," said Chris Field, director of the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology at Stanford.

He was not directly connected with the study published in Science, but he and colleagues are working with the authors to incorporate their findings in improved computer models of future climate change.
In interviews Thursday, experts who aren't connected with the Science paper had varied reactions.

"It could raise temperatures dramatically beyond the current projections. Second, it could raise the rate at which temperatures rise," paleoclimatologist David Anderson of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climate Prediction Center in Boulder, Colo., said in a phone interview.
Anderson noted that present-day models estimate the average planetary temperature will rise by 5.5 degrees Fahrenheit if carbon dioxide levels double. It's uncertain, though, how fast that doubling (which is driven in part by fast-spreading industrialization and car ownership) could occur.

"Conceivably, (permafrost melting) could eventually -- say within several centuries -- have as much impact as the burning of fossil fuels," raising the average planetary temperature by more than 10 degrees, Anderson said.
The Science study shows the amount of carbon frozen in permafrost around the world, not just Siberia, is much higher than previously calculated, a climate expert at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory said.

"We have known (about) the permafrost in Siberia before," explained atmospheric scientist Bala Govindasamy of the lab. "Previous estimates for global permafrost (are) between 200 and 400 (billion tons). This study has found higher carbon content in the Siberian permafrost and estimates that the total global amount could be about 1,000 (billion tons)."

The U.N.-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change produced an original estimate for global warming of 3 to 11 degrees Fahrenheit over the next century, Govindasamy said. He added that the new permafrost data might push the estimate much higher -- to 5 to 15 degrees.
Kevin Trenberth, one of the nation's top climate modelers, said it's "hard to say" how much the findings could affect forecasts of global warming, but the effects are "likely nontrivial," he said in an e-mail.


Last edited by Whisper; June 18th, 2006 at 03:22 PM.
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