environment: Antarctic methane scientific consensus
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USA Today, on the thawing Antarctic:
Western Antarctica has warmed unexpectedly fast over the last five decades, weather records confirm, adding to sea-level rise concerns in a warming world.
Temperatures in West Antarctica have increased at a rate nearly twiceas large as the global average, a 4.3 degree Fahrenheit increase since 1958, conclude meteorologists in the journal, Nature Geoscience, out Sunday.The finding adds Western Antarctica to the list of hot spots most affected by global warming, the century-long increase in global average temperatures largely driven by greenhouse gas emissions from burning oil, gas and coal.
“The magnitude of the increase is substantial,” says polar meteorologist David Bromwich of Ohio State University, who led the study. “One of the most surprising aspects of this warming (increase) is how much is going on in the summer, that’s the time we would get any melting.” Bromwich had expected increases in rates of warming to be fairly uniform across the seasons, instead.
Fuck. Sent December 27:
As the most rapidly warming place on Earth, the Southern polar regions are going to be the focus of intense scientific scrutiny in the years to come. The vast quantities of ice now starting to melt in Antarctica’s Western territories will raise sea levels far beyond the earlier predictions of climate scientists, lending further urgency to the struggle to contain global climate change within manageable bounds. But the prospect of massive ice melt is not the most alarming aspect of this rapidly transforming region.
Scientists confirm that at least four billion tonnes of methane are currently frozen beneath the Antarctic ice sheet. A greenhouse gas twenty-five times as powerful as carbon dioxide, methane is already entering the atmosphere above the Arctic, and bringing with it the potential to destabilize our already traumatized climate and impact all Earthly life in devastating ways. If Antarctic methane melts, humanity’s in very deep trouble.