Scientists at Edinburgh University in Scotland have observed a 31% increase in methane emitted by high latitude permafrost, or Arctic tundra, in just the past five years. They also note that global warming in the Arctic is occurring at twice the rate as anywhere else on Earth, with some regions having already warmed by 2.5 degrees Celsius.
Dr. Phillippe Ciais with the Laboratory for Climate Sciences and the Environment in France reported in 2009 that vast stores of methane could be released with just a 2 degree Celsius average global rise. As Arctic soils store billions of tons of the gas, which has far more warming potential than carbon dioxide, the thawing of this region could create what has been called a “ticking timebomb” that would overwhelm any human efforts to halt it.
Dr. Ciais and University of Edinburgh researchers, we appreciate your observations and their resounding call to action. Let us step urgently while we still have time toward sustainable solutions that preserve our planet.
Supreme Master Ching Hai has often emphasized the critical danger of triggering such a methane release, as well as what we can do to halt it, as during September 2009 videoconference in South Korea.