A study by researchers at Shizuoka University and the National Institute of Polar Research in Japan studying permafrost loss on Mt. Fuji has revealed that the thaw rate is much faster than expected.
In 1976, the layer of permafrost, or permanently frozen soil, existed at elevations of 3,100 meters and above. Today, the scientists find permafrost only in patches around the 3,776 meter peak, along with an increase in average August temperatures from 4.2 degrees Celsius in 1976 to 6.6 degrees in 2009. In a related study, a team of scientists from the University of Nevada, Reno in the USA led by Dr. Sudeep Chandra have been collecting permafrost samples in Siberia, Russia.
There, they discovered earth that had been frozen for the past 10,000 years is now releasing methane gas into the atmosphere. This is a concern because the permafrost layer contains immense stores of methane, which as a greenhouse gas has 100 times the warming potential of CO2. This gaseous release then traps more heat in the atmosphere, which in turn melts more permafrost, creating a cycle that could set off an irreversible warming process, with catastrophic consequences.
International scientists, we appreciate your research on this aspect of global warming, despite its disturbing implications. Let us engage in rapid actions to renew our harmony with nature and restore conditions that are conducive to human survival.
During an August 2009 videoconference with Supreme Master Television staff in California, USA, Supreme Master Ching Hai addressed this alarming aspect of global warming and spoke of the one way to halt the release of methane into the atmosphere.