Wednesday, August 17, 2005

where will you be when the world is over?
global warming in the siberian peat bogs

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I'm just kidding around about the title. Sort of. Well, just don't have kids anyway. Unless, you want them to breath in the 700 million tons of extra methane released every year for the next hundred years from the Siberian peat bogs melting. Now, what are the Siberian peat bogs, you ask? Well, to start off, they're the size of Germany and France combined. And them being frozen is what keeps all of the methane gas in. But... scientists just found out that they have actually been thawing over the past 3 or 4 years, due to other global warming. It seems that this was one of those "off-chance" scenarios, one of those things that wasn't really in some predictions of how we'd affect global warming, since a lot of estimates only took into account the gas leaks that were already known and accounted for, not contingencies and "tipping points" we'd reach, things that were less predictable.

So, methane - who cares? It can't be that bad. Humans make it and cows make it, right?

Well, It's 20 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than Carbon Dioxide. If the peat bogs melt, then the amount of methane in the atmosphere over the next 100 years or so will double because of this. Greenhouse scientists let out a collective "oh sh*t" about this, and global warming predictions will now have to be ramped up from former predictions because of this. The extra methane is expected to raise the amount of global warming by 10-25%, according to climate scientists at the
Met Office's Hadley Centre.

"It is a scenario climate scientists have feared since first identifying "tipping points" - delicate thresholds where a slight rise in the Earth's temperature can cause a dramatic change in the environment that itself triggers a far greater increase in global temperatures."
full article at the guardian

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