Melting Permafrost To Emit Half the Carbon of Industrial Emissions

"A new study suggests the Arctic is headed for a permafrost meltdown that will release greenhouse gases equal to half the emissions of the entire industrial age.

The report, the first to estimate how much carbon will be emitted as the warming Arctic's frozen soil melts, suggests the massive, long-term release will make it even tougher for the world to manage climate change.

"This is a lot of carbon," said Kevin Schaefer of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo. "Undoubtedly, it will amplify the warming due to fossil fuel emissions."

Numerous studies over the past few years have pointed out that permafrost is melting in a warming Arctic. Many have warned that the organic matter in that permafrost will now be free to decay, releasing greenhouse gases."

Bob Weber reports for the Canadian Press February 16, 2011.

Source: Canadian Press, 02/17/2011