Posts Tagged ‘methane’

More Ice? (Please)

The World Wildlife Fund has released a new study that points to the evidence that Arctic melting, which will likely change weather patterns and cause coastal flooding, is worse than previously estimated. Warming in the Arctic impacts the ecosystem around the planet, with a sharp increase of greenhouse gases and shifts in weather. Arctic Sea ice is melting more quickly than we thought.

“This is not about the Arctic, it’s what the Arctic means to the rest of the world and this study paints a truly sobering picture of the future if it continues to warm and melt,” said Dr. Martin Sommerkorn, “Warming in the Arctic will have negative consequences not just for polar bears, but for people across America and throughout the world. Simply put, if we do not keep the Arctic cold enough, people across the world will suffer the effects.”

It’s a pretty vicious circle. The study analysis says: “The Arctic’s frozen soils and wetlands store twice as much carbon as is held in the atmosphere, as warming trends continue, soils will increasingly thaw and release carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere as, at a significantly faster pace than previously predicted. Levels of atmospheric methane, a particularly potent greenhouse gas, have been increasing rapidly for the past two years, and many believe the increase is driven by the thawing Arctic.”

Sea levels will also likely rise at an alarming rate…I’m traveling to the Maldives later this year, one of the most threatened regions that will be underwater with just slight rises (much of the entire land mass of the island nation is less than 7 feet above sea level). That’s pretty damned freaky. Coastal flooding which will affect more than 25% of the world’s population, is now believed to be almost twice as much as was estimated in 2007. That’s only 2 years in which the prediction has grown twice as bleak.