Monday, February 18, 2013

Arctic methane

The beauty of this photograph belies the fact that it represents a disaster waiting to happen. Large amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas, are stored under the Arctic permafrost. It's release is a natural process, but with the advancing rate of global climate change, it is expected to release in amounts that will be catastrophic. Some scientists call it "a bomb" and it will only accelerate global warming, which will result In droughts and subsequent food emergencies across the northern hemisphere. I don't think it is alarmist to suggest that the rapid melting of the polar ice cap, which serves as an air-conditioner to the world, has serious consequences beyond the unfortunate habitat loss for polar bears.

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