Latest News Unexpectedly Widespread Permafrost Melting Could Set Off A Greenhouse Gas Time-bomb - Physics-Astronomy.org

Latest News Unexpectedly Widespread Permafrost Melting Could Set Off A Greenhouse Gas Time-bomb

Beneath much of the Arctic resides vast stores of greenhouse gases, locked up for millennia in icy soils. With this in mind, a pair of studies provides a double whammy of bad news: Not only are these frozen reservoirs thawing out extra extensively than previously thought, but at this step, there’s little that can be done about it.
Carbon dioxide & methane are indubitably the two the majority potent greenhouse gases. Vast reservoirs of both exist within the world’s permafrost, which is hydrated soil that has remained below the freezing point for two or new years. Remarkably, these permafrost soils hold almost twice as much carbon than that found in the atmosphere – and one study, published in Nature Geoscience, show them thawing all across the northern hemisphere.
Latest News Unexpectedly Widespread Permafrost Melting Could Set Off A Greenhouse Gas Time-bomb
Thanks to consistently warmer summers, permafrost in Russia, Alaska and Canada is life form “uncapped;” icy wedges that form at the peak of the permafrost were observed to be roughly universally melting even in the coldest regions of the Arctic. These wedges create up around 20 percent of the higher permafrost volume, so their melting is exposing massive areas of hidden, deeper permafrost.

“The scientific society has had the assumption that this cold permafrost would be protected from climate warming, but we’re showing here that the peak of the permafrost, even if it’s very cold, is very sensitive to these warming events,” Anna Liljedahl, the lead author of the study and a researcher at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, told the Washington-Post.
Importantly, permafrost isn’t the only icy prison for greenhouse gases. Around 56 million years ago, there was a mysterious, sizeable, global spike in atmospheric carbon. One of the prevailing theories is that this occurred when a huge cache of frozen methane under the seabed was suddenly destabilized, causing it to release its inside into the atmosphere as both methane gas and carbon dioxide. This, in turn, caused dramatic global warming, and a similar turn of events could happen today if the permafrost stores are unleashed.

It power even be worse: The initial uptick in global temperature could further destabilize both reservoirs of frozen greenhouse gases, which in turn would release extra trapped gas, and so on. Once this cycle reaches a sure tipping point, it may be impossible to stop.

So is there any way to avoid this, sideways from agreeing to cut greenhouse gas emission on a global scale? Some have optional that plants, which would begin to proliferate in a warmer Arctic, could end up soaking up the evasion carbon dioxide, acting as a biological buffer to this increasingly worrying phenomenon.
Another study was commissioned to ask 100 Arctic researchers if this was believable, and they gave a resounding answer: no, it’s not. The investigate, published in Environmental Research Letters, concluded that “the permafrost district will become a carbon source to the atmosphere by 2100 regardless of warming- scenario.”
This means that, whatever happens, a vast chunk of its carbon will inexorably run away to the atmosphere by the finish of the century. However, they do point out that up to 85 percent of permafrost carbon let go could be stopped if human emissions are “actively- reduced.”

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