Scientists at the University of Colorado at Boulder's Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences have for the first time quantified the amount of carbon that could be released into the atmosphere as the Arctic permafrost melts.
Using computer modeling, the scientists showed that within about a decade, carbon dioxide and methane from the thawing plant material that has been frozen in soil since the last glacial period that ended about 12,000 years ago, will turn the entire Arctic tundra region into a global source of carbon, instead of remaining a carbon sink.
Within a century, the Arctic meltdown could release about 95 billion tons of carbon, equivalent to half the total fossil fuel emissions since the beginning of the Industrial Age. Lead author, Dr. Kevin Schaefer noted that even the most conservative estimates from this projection would make a significant difference to the Earth's climate.
He stated, “If we want to hit a target carbon dioxide concentration, then we have to reduce fossil fuel emissions… much lower than previously thought to account for this additional carbon from the permafrost. Otherwise we will end up with a warmer Earth than we want.”
Our sincere thanks, Dr. Schaefer and University of Colorado colleagues for these revealing insights into the precarious situation of the Arctic permafrost. Let us join together in rapid measures to protect the planet and secure the survival of all co-inhabitants on Earth.
Supreme Master Ching Hai has often highlighted the need for humanity to safeguard the ecosphere from potential sources of runaway global warming, as in this interview published in the September 2009 edition of The House Magazine.