15 Dec '11, 5pm

Arctic methane turns out to be a huge problem after all

While the nerd herd was busy declaring the threat posed by gigantic new plumes of methane from the Arctic Ocean to be a non-starter , we all managed to miss the real methane menace, highlighted by climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe : surprise. Surprise and fear. The two real methane menaces are fear and surprise. The bottom line: Existing climate models appear to have significantly underestimated the future impact of methane from the world's vast stores of rapidly thawing permafrost. In fact, the real impact will be 2.5 times as large as previously estimated. From a release on the new study , by ecologist Edward Schuur: [M]odels created to estimate global warming may have underestimated the magnitude of carbon emissions from permafrost over the next century. Its effect on climate change is projected to be 2.5 times greater than models predicted, partly because of the amoun...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/list/2011-12-15-arctic-methane-turns...

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