12 Jun '12, 12am

Carbon-Belching Microbes Pose Yet Another Global Warming Feedback Loop

Carbon-Belching Microbes Pose Yet Another Global Warming Feedback Loop

Perhaps the most frightening thing about climate change is that we don't have a great idea about exactly how fast it's going to get really frightening—if global warming activates any number of known feedback loops , temperatures could spiral out of control faster than our models currently predict. Scientists are particularly concerned about the thawing permafrost and releasing the methane trapped within (the gas would trap more heat in the atmosphere and provoke more warming) and losing the Arctic sea ice that reflects sunlight back into space (as that ice surface dwindles, more heat is absorbed in the ocean, melting more ice). There are many others, and each presents an unknown boundary that could throw a wrench into a system that's already going haywire—think of them as a collection of invisible trip wires that would screw everything over. NASA just uncovered another one...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/climate-change/carbon-belching-...

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