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Louisiana1976 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-12-09 10:11 PM
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Bubbles of warming, beneath the ice
Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, Alaska - Four miles south of the Arctic Circle, the morning sky is streaked with apricot. Frozen rivers split the tundra of the Seward Peninsula, coiling into vast lakes. And on a silent, wind-whipped pond, a lone figure, sweating and panting, shovels snow off the ice.

The young woman with curly reddish hair stops, scribbles data, snaps a photo, grabs a heavy metal pick and stabs at white orbs in the thick black ice.

"Every time I see bubbles, I have the same feeling," says Katey Walter, a University of Alaska researcher. "They are amazing and beautiful."

Beautiful, yes. But ominous. When her pick breaks through the surface, the orbs burst with a low gurgle, spewing methane, a potent greenhouse gas that could accelerate the pace of climate change across the globe.

snip

http://www.latimes.com/news/science/environment/la-na-g...
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PSPS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-12-09 10:22 PM
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1. This will be the final nail
Consider that there are millions of square miles of frozen tundra throughout northern Canada, Alaska and Siberia rapidly thawing and releasing enormous amounts of eons-old previously sequestered methane into the atmosphere at the same time. And methane is probably the most potent greenhouse gas by far.
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FirstLight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-12-09 10:42 PM
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2. yikes, man
this is more graphic than the 'reports that this could happen'...

It is done - we are leaving a very short lived planet to our children. Unless our species can evolve, is't the nail in the coffin for sure...
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elocs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-12-09 10:48 PM
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3. Arctic Amplification (this is a good article from earlier this year):
http://www.grinzo.com/energy/index.php/2009/01/14/anoth... /


Scientists have found the first unequivocal evidence that the Arctic region is warming at a faster rate than the rest of the world at least a decade before it was predicted to happen.

Climate-change researchers have found that air temperatures in the region are higher than would be normally expected during the autumn because the increased melting of the summer Arctic sea ice is accumulating heat in the ocean. The phenomenon, known as Arctic amplification, was not expected to be seen for at least another 10 or 15 years and the findings will further raise concerns that the Arctic has already passed the climatic tipping-point towards ice-free summers, beyond which it may not recover.

Although researchers have documented a catastrophic loss of sea ice during the summer months over the past 20 years, they have not until now detected the definitive temperature signal that they could link with greenhouse-gas emissions.

However, in a study to be presented later today to the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, scientists will show that Arctic amplification has been under way for the past five years, and it will continue to intensify Arctic warming for the foreseeable future.

Computer models of the global climate have for years suggested the Arctic will warm at a faster rate than the rest of the world due to Arctic amplification but many scientists believed this effect would only become measurable in the coming decades.

However, a study by scientists from the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC) in Colorado has found that amplification is already showing up as a marked increase in surface air temperatures within the Arctic region during the autumn period, when the sea ice begins to reform after the summer melting period.


More at the link.
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Th1onein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-12-09 11:15 PM
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4. Is this what Bush meant when he said we would all be dead?
eom
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silverweb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-13-09 01:51 PM
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5. Terrifying.
And its release is so diffuse and so omnipresent, there's no way to contain it.

I suppose if this made the headlines as it should, there would be worldwide hysteria.

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bluesmail Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-13-09 07:34 PM
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6. Recommended. Here's a kick to go with the recommendation. EOM
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