When will thawing permafrost (and subsequent GHG emissions) pose a real threat? Or are they already thawing too much?



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    Permafrost, which is permanently frozen ground, is no longer permanent thanks to global warming. These large frozen land masses in the in the northern latitudes are melting due to rising temperatures. Scientists estimate that the melting of just 10% of this land will result in the release of enough greenhouse gasses to warm the earth an additional 0.7 degrees C. Locked inside the permafrost exists massive amounts of greenhouse gasses CO2 and methane. Methane is considered a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. This release will only compound the problem causing more melting resulting in an exponential warming cycle. It’s estimated that at the current rate global warming will cause a never ending and irreversible process of thawing.

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