Climate News Roundup

Met Office says world is warming up faster than at any time in 100 yearsThe Scotsman. Prediction: “At least half of the years 2009 to 2014 will be hotter than 1998, the warmest year on record. And their research predicts 2014 is likely to be 0.3C warmer globally than 2004. This is a sharp increase, as the average global temperature has risen by only 0.8C since 1900.”

Early springs show Siberia is warming fastNew Scientist. That’s bad news because Siberia contains so much of the Earth’s carbon locked away in permafrost.

One Response to Climate News Roundup

  1. Earl Killian says:

    To put some numbers on it, Zimov estimated 500 Gt of carbon stored in the permafrost to be 500 Gt of yedoma, 400 Gt of non-yedoma non-peat, and 50-70 Gt of peat. He looked in the lab at the respiration rates of yedoma, and concluded that “then most carbon in recently thawed yedoma will be released within a century”. Let’s be conservative and call “most” just 50%, so 250 Gt in 100 years, or 2.5 Gt of C per year. If it merely CO2 (and not CH4), then this is 9 Gt CO2 per year. For comparison, U.S. emissions are currently about 7.1 Gt CO2e per year. So it we start the permafrost thawing, it is like bringing on line a second U.S. If we start the permafrost melting and then the U.S. manages to come to its senses and cuts its emissions to 0, the permafrost can continue some of the worst scenarios in the IPCC report. And that’s not counting the non-yedoma carbon.