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Aug 11 / Dave Schumaker

Siberia’s Permafrost Melting

The New Scientist is reporting that a large swath of land locked in permafrost is beginning to thaw out. This possibly has enormous implications on global warming arguments (both cause and effect), since these thawed out peat bogs can release enormous amounts of methane. Western Siberia has warmed faster than almost anywhere else on the planet, with an increase in average temperatures of some 3 °C in the last 40 years. The warming is believed to be a combination of man-made climate change, a cyclical change in atmospheric circulation known as the Arctic oscillation, plus feedbacks caused by melting ice, which exposes bare ground and ocean. These absorb more solar heat than white ice and snow.

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