Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Arctic ice melt reaches 'Amplification Point' - Siberian methane releases now 10x higher

Alaska has already lost 400 billion tons of Ice, the total lost (including Greenland) is in the trillions.

Here's is a very simple answer to the question of: is global warming taking place? Is the net effect [including the winter grow-back] that more ice has melted? Is the amount of total ice getting less each year? A fifth grader could answer these questions.
clipped from news.yahoo.com

"The pace of change is starting to outstrip our ability to keep up with it, in terms of our understanding of it," said Mark Serreze, senior scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo., a co-author of the Arctic amplification study.

Two other studies coming out at the conference assess how Arctic thawing is releasing methane — the second most potent greenhouse gas. One study shows that the loss of sea ice warms the water, which warms the permafrost on nearby land in Alaska, thus producing methane, Stroeve says.

A second study suggests even larger amounts of frozen methane are trapped in lakebeds and sea bottoms around Siberia and they are starting to bubble to the surface in some spots in alarming amounts, said Igor Semiletov, a professor at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks.

The amounts of methane in the region could dramatically increase global warming if they get released, he said.

That, Semiletov said, "should alarm people."

In this July 19, 2007 file photo, an iceberg melts off Ammassalik Island in
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