by Bob Berwyn, Inside Climate News
- A new study in Science Advances says that only a few degrees of warming is needed for large scale permafrost thawing, which would release methane and carbon dioxide that has been trapped in the frost
- The permafrost regions of the arctic hold more carbon dioxide than the Earth’s atmosphere. If this carbon is released rapidly in large amounts it will accelerate climate change
- This tipping point due to permafrost melt has been seen before in other warming phases of the planet’s history
- It is uncertain how much of this released carbon could be sequestered by peatlands and new arctic shrubs that have grown due to the warming of that region
- The melting of permafrost is impacting indigenous peoples in the arctic, as the infrastructure they rely on is built on the collapsing permafrost
Scientists are increasingly warning that to avoid catastrophic impacts from climate change, the world’s governments must implement policies for massive greenhouse gas emissions reductions and begin a drawdown of carbon from the atmosphere within ten years. With 9 of 15 global tipping points now active, what we do today can either unleash an inhospitable hothouse Earth or secure a safe climate well into the future. For a safe and healthy future for all, endorse the Climate-Safe California Platform to implement scalable solutions that can reverse the climate crisis.