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Thawing Permafrost in Russia Releases Dangerous Levels of Methane

Scientists have been worried about the effects of methane release due to the melting permafrost in Siberia.

The geologists have finally released the results of the study in associated with the release of methane from the permafrost, which had been significantly more than what the scientists had expected, especially from an unexpected source: thawing rock.

The thawing wetlands release microbial methane, while the limestone releases hydrocarbons and gas hydrates. From the Institute of Geosciences at the University of Bonn, studies based on the satellite maps measuring intense methane concentration over 2 elongated areas of limestone of several miles wide and up to 375 miles long in Taymyr peninsula and in northern Siberia, temperatures saw more than 10.8 degrees higher than the norm of 1979-2000. In these spots, there are no vegetations, so when the warming began, the limestone was seen on the surface, and the cracks and pockets in the rock opened up, releasing the trapped methane.

Specifically, the methane increase was 5 percent higher than normal. More alarmingly, the methane release continued until Spring 2021 despite the low temperatures and snow in the region. The carbonates in the outcroppings date back to 541 million years to the Paleozoic era.

Many are worried that this is more of the potentially nasty feedbacks resulting from the climate change. It seems that with the thawing of the previously cold areas that were locked up by ice, comes more areas available for microbial processes that release CO2 and methane, further complicating the picture of climate change and the instability of global climate for human habitation.

At the moment, the biggest sources of methane in the world are global agriculture and fracking leaks in the U.S.; the problem is, it is not clear how much of the permafrost holds the CO2 and methane that will be released.

Apart from methane, another scary news: Polar Portal provided by the Danish Arctic Institute, updated that a massive melting event had occurred recently, which could cover Florida with two inches of water.

Someday, dykes and dams just won’t be enough.


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