Friday, February 22, 2008

Melting of permafrost could trigger rapid global warming warns UN


Melting of the Arctic permafrost is a "wild card" that could dramatically worsen global warming by releasing massive amounts of greenhouse gases, warned the U.N. on Wednesday at a meeting in Monaco. Vast amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas 23-25 times more potent than carbon dioxide, are locked in the deep sea and in the frozen soils of Siberia, Northern Europe, and North America, but warming could trigger rapid thawing that would release billions of tons into the atmosphere.

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Download free pdf publication, UNEP Yearbook 2008, reported in this article from the United Nations Environment Program. "The UNEP Year Book 2008 highlights the increasing complexity and interconnections of climate change, ecosystem integrity, human well-being, and economic development. It examines the emergence and influence of economic mechanisms and market driven approaches for addressing environmental degradation. It describes recent research findings and policy decisions that affect our awareness of and response to changes in our global environment." (This important report contains a free map of significant climate anomalies and events in 2007. )