Scientists from the University of Alaska at Fairbanks in the USA have reported that the shallow undersea permafrost in Siberia, which until recent years was stable, is now noted as releasing significant amounts of methane, even more than the record highs from Summer 2008.
According to lead scientist Professor Igor Semiletov, who is also head of the International Siberian Shelf Study (ISSS), the region is experiencing the fastest temperature rise of the planet.
Springtime air is currently measured at an average of 4 degrees Celsius higher than in the last three decades of the 20th century. Sudden releases of methane gas are linked to runaway global warming and are considered a factor in the past mass extinction of species.
The Alaskan researchers state that if the current warming conditions continue, the melting of underwater Siberian permafrost would release catastrophic amounts of methane.
Dr. Sergey Kirpotin – Tomsk University (Quote in Russian): As more permafrost melts, more greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere. It is absolutely evident. We could be uncertain in quantitative terms, but the fact that this process has a global character, global importance and global scale is absolutely evident.
Vladimir Chuprov – Greenpeace Russia Representative (Quote in Russian): It is essential to come up with a new international agreement that could guarantee the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions – the causes of the global climate change.
Only then could we slow down these negative processes that take place also in the Russian Arctic. Professor Semiletov and University of Alaska colleagues, we appreciate this clarion call about the dire signals being conveyed by our Earth.
May we all deeply realize the grave nature of climate change and act now to protect our shared planetary home. As on many occasions, Supreme Master Ching Hai explained during an October 2009 videoconference in Hong Kong the urgent situation of methane gas release, while offering the surest solution.