Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thawing the Far North

1,700 billion metric tonnes of carbon dioxide.   That's twice the current record amount of atmospheric CO2.   1,700 billion metric tonnes is the estimated amount of CO2 held in the northern hemisphere's permafrost that is now at risk of being released.

A report of the U.N. Environment Programme released at the Doha climate summit warns that data from existing monitoring networks, "indicates that large-scale thawing of permafrost may have already started."

With Arctic temperatures warming twice as fast as the global average, scientists estimate thawing permafrost could release large amounts of carbon into the atmosphere through the end of the century with significant climate impacts.

Thawing permafrost could emit 43 billion to 135 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2100, and 246 billion to 415 billion metric tons of CO2 by 2200, the U.N. report says.

"Uncertainties are large, but emissions from thawing permafrost could start within the next few decades and continue for several centuries, influencing both short-term climate (before 2100) and long-term climate (after 2100)," it continues.

Despite that risk, current climate models do not include the risk of emissions from thawing permafrost, the UNEP analysis warned.

As a consequence, the projections of future climate change made in the IPCC's next major report, due next year, "are likely to be biased on the low side," the new report says.


the salamander said...

Surely Peter Kent will deny/respond via a junior spokesperson ? Or John Baird will accuse/thunder re such UN discrimination against Canada and its misunderstood permafrost eh ! It wuz Trudeau (Pierre) and the damned Liberals created the permafrost!

Is this an issue for 'Northern Affairs' .. or do we still have scientists or researchers that have survived the great 'cull' .. where the mensa minds and minders of Stephen Harper's back room cabin bum boyz got rid of those damned scientists, ecologists, naturalists, biologists that weren't playing along, delivering enuff votes.. supporting the tar sands or accepting that political science and The Rapture had superseded Darwin's Law as well as physics

The country (Canada) blessed with the most staggering natural and resource bounty on the entire planet.. is currently cursed with overfed, destructive, sanctimonious, anti-environment, evangelical cadre of theocratic bullshitters and abject losers.. elected by us !!!

If the stench of 'tea party petro funded A-holes' seems to be permeating Ottawa and Alberta.. its actually a distinctly unique sub-species genetically spawned from the distorted experimental economic theories of Karl Rove fan club platinum bitumen member Stephen Harper.

Its not enough to ruin Canada's environment... sell anything and everything off to China or India.. With the sparse tax monies returned, renowned military strategist, Field Marshal Harper and General John Baird can launch a feeble squadron of F-35's maybe 10 years from now as a holy 'Crusader' campaign under flapping flags, drumbeats, and TV ad campaigns of wars they have no valid comprehension of from long ago.. where horses pulled cannons and gunpowder was carried in small pouches or powder horns... and a lot of people and most of the horses died.

If I hear these foul and faux birds of war squawk again.. invoke the names of the valorous, the dead, the maimed in battle in vain.. I will puke.

If the so called Harper Government had anything of merit to say about climate, pollution, nature, I assume we would have heard it by now. But after years of plunging their heads in the sand or up their arses.. there is no credibility or reason. Anyone can see they are the real eco terrorists, that's their 'Brand' and they should be mercifully consigned to the tar pits like the men who walk with dinosaurs they are. RIP or rot in hell or tar. Watch your arses and the exit polls on your way out the door.

Any connection between 'The True North Strong and Free' and the government scrabbling, scheming, cheating, obstructing, conniving, posturing is a fabricated, flawed, dangerous contrived illusion..

If you buy that shite.. you'll drink from Alberta's tar sands tailings ponds or fracked flowback pond water.. (My suggestion is to wait till you see Joe Oliver or Stephen Harper drink from those ponds..)

Permafrost .. ?? look for Harper, Kent, Baird to bury that deeper than salmon, Afghanistan, electoral fraud.. and prorugues ..

The Mound of Sound said...

Hi Sal. The benchmark of any fascist government is its reactionary nature. The characteristic results in policies that appear short-term, inconsistent, even incoherent.

Look at Harper's China-oriented trade initiative. Then look at our foreign policy which is anti-China from the F-35 to MacKay promoting a permanent and sizeable Canadian military presence in Asia. That may appear inconsistent, incoherent, until you realize that Harper has outsourced Canadian foreign policy to the Americans. This also accounts for us following the Americans' path of blurring foreign policy with military policy.

We may pay dearly for this dysfunction in time.

Anonymous said...

The scientists at the Arctic Emergency Methane Group predict the collapse of the Arctic ice happening in years, not decades.