In a new study published in the journal “Science,” a team of researchers from Russia, United States and Sweden have found that thawing permafrost is causing 8 million tons of methane to be released from the seabed of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf each year.
This alarming amount from just one location is equivalent to the total that had been previously estimated for all the world’s oceans and causes concern that a tipping point may have already been reached.
Lead researcher, Dr. Natalia Shakhova of the University of Alaska-Fairbanks in the USA noted that current average methane concentrations in the Arctic are already the highest in 400,000 years.
Of equal concern is the fact that, averaged over a 20-year period, methane is 72 times more heat-trapping than CO2; however, these potentially vast permafrost methane emissions are not included in climate change prediction models.
Dr. Shakhova and international colleagues, we are grateful for your sharing of such factually urgent observations. Let us act in accordance with their dire implications and move swiftly toward sustainable ways to save our ecosphere.
Supreme Master Ching Hai has spoken with concern on several occasions about the risks of melting permafrost, as during a September 2009 videoconference in South Korea.