A recent study by scientists at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark has found that the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide is released as permafrost in the Northern Hemisphere thaws. Identified as the third most predominant greenhouse gas by the United Nations after carbon dioxide and methane, nitrous oxide is 310 times more warming than carbon dioxide and its release into the atmosphere creates a feedback loop that accelerates global warming.
Previously, scientists had thought that permafrost thawing did not release nitrous oxide in large amounts, but this most recent study, conducted on core samples from Greenland, indicates that as the soil is re-saturated with melt-water, nitrous oxide production increases to 20 times it natural levels, with a third entering the atmosphere.
University of Copenhagen scientists, we are grateful for your observations that add to our knowledge about climate change. May such awareness motivate us all to act now while we still can protect our precious planet.
Supreme Master Ching Hai has often expressed her concern regarding the melting of the Arctic permafrost, also urging actions to halt it, as in this July 2008 videoconference with our Association members in the US.