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Thu Feb 28, 2013, 10:10 AM

Permafrost: The Tipping Time Bomb

My newest video for the Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media.


“Frozen dirt.”
Got it? If so, now you can better describe permafrost in those discussions around the dinner table. It’s any underground earth material that stays frozen for two or more consecutive years, Vladimir Romanovsky, Ph.D., of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, explains in a new “This is Not Cool” video produced by Peter Sinclair for The Yale Forum on Climate Change & The Media.
When it thaws, so do the microorganisms. With no oxygen, the microorganisms make methane, and with it they make carbon dioxide, Kevin Schaefer of the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Centre explains.

The concern is that much of the carbon stored in permafrost — in frozen dirt — could be released into the carbon cycle, says scientist Charles Miller of NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The Arctic, Miller says, is being affected by warming faster and more significantly than models had predicted. Methane concentrations, and even CO2 concentrations, “that one might associate with flying near a large oil or natural gas production facility or even flying through the middle of a large city” can be observed from an airplane, he says. “They’re elevated that much. But when you look down at the surface, all you see is pristine wilderness, typically wetlands and rivers with sporadic forests and grassland.”

Finding those concentrations so distant from those locations, Miller says, is “quite remarkable to me.”

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Reply Permafrost: The Tipping Time Bomb (Original post)
greenman3610 Feb 2013 OP
pscot Feb 2013 #1
progressoid Feb 2013 #2

Response to greenman3610 (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 12:06 PM

1. Highly recommended

Global warming in in action. Every high school senior in the country should have to watch this film. Every Congressman too.

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