November 15, 2013 --- Arctic methane emissions this month were recorded at historic-high levels, causing great concern among climatologists, who cite rapidly melting Arctic sea-ice and warming oceans as the main causes.

As reported in the blog Arctic News, "huge amounts of methane are now escaping from the seabed of the Arctic Ocean, penetrating the sea ice, and entering the atmosphere, in a process that appears to be accelerating, resulting in levels as high as 2662 ppb (at 14,384 ft. altitude) on November 9, 2013."...Experts generally agree that this amount is roughly twice the globally "safe" level.

Another study group, the Alamo Project, said "Greenhouse gases are escaping the permafrost and entering the atmosphere at an increasing rate -- up to 50 billion tons each year of methane, for example -- due to a global thawing trend...This is particularly troublesome because methane heats the atmosphere with 25 times the efficiency of carbon dioxide...The release of all this stored carbon could change climate in the Arctic in ways researchers have yet to fully understand."

Methane is one of the most potent greenhouse gasses on Earth -- it is called "the canary in the coal mine" of climate change...It traps more heat in the atmosphere, more rapidly, than carbon....Since 1750 (the dawn of the coal-burning industrial revolution), atmospheric methane has increased by 150%...The recent increase, however, has reached levels not seen on Earth in almost 500,000 years according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The current rate of methane emissions are a sign that dangerous "climate feedback loops" are underway.

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telliottmbamsc's picture
telliottmbamsc 6 years 10 weeks ago

Oh well, you got to admit mankind did have a pretty good run.

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