The permafrost scare is back again
This pops up every couple of years. Most of the permafrost concerned is in Russia and Russian scientists have repeatedly said the alarmists don't know what they are talking about.
The Russian Arctic, particularly in Siberia, is VERY cold, far too cold for a warming of a degree or two to have any effect
And the researchers below admit that they don't know what they have found! How's that as a solid basis for a climate theory? Forgive me while I laugh
I think they know what they have found. They just haven't been able to torture their data into saying what they want yet. They should get a copy of Darrell Huff's "How to lie with statistics". Let me suggest a technique: Extreme quintiles. I have never used it but it's used in the epidemiological literature all the time. It's a "respectable" way of throwing away most of your data. And epidemiology is a sensation-dependent literature too
THE world is on the cusp of a "tipping point" into dangerous climate change, according to new data gathered by scientists measuring methane leaking from the Arctic permafrost and a report presented to the United Nations on Tuesday.
"The permafrost carbon feedback is irreversible on human time scales," says the report, Policy Implications of Warming Permafrost. "Overall, these observations indicate that large-scale thawing of permafrost may already have started."
While countries the size of Australia tally up their greenhouse emissions in hundreds of millions of tonnes, the Arctic's stores are measured in tens of billions.
Human-induced emissions now appear to have warmed the Arctic enough to unlock this vast carbon bank, with stark implications for international efforts to hold global warming to a safe level. Ancient forests locked under ice tens of thousands of years ago are beginning to melt and rot, releasing vast amounts of greenhouse gases into the air.
The report estimates the greenhouse gases leaking from the thawing Arctic will eventually add more to emissions than last year's combined carbon output of the US and Europe – a statistic which means present global plans to hold climate change to an average 2degree temperature rise this century are now likely to be much more difficult.
Until very recently permafrost was thought to have been melting too slowly to make a meaningful difference to temperatures this century, so it was left out of the Kyoto Protocol, and ignored by many climate change models.
What isn't known is the precise rate and scale of the melt, and that is being tackled in a remarkable NASA experiment that hardly anyone has heard of, but which could prove to be one of the most crucial pieces of scientific field work undertaken this century.
The findings, for now, are still under wraps. "But I think 'tantalising' is probably the right word," [Or is that "inconclusive"?] said Charles Miller, the principal investigator in NASA's Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment, or CARVE.
The findings of the first year of the experiment are so complex that Professor Miller and his team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory are still trying to work out exactly what they have found.
Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).