Arctic lakes speed up permafrost thawing, global warming

Those pools accelerate permafrost thaw beneath the expanding lakes, providing food for microbes that produce the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane.

The team behind the new research measured carbon release at 72 different locations on 11 thermokarst lakes across Siberia and Alaska, plus five locations without lakes, to calculate how much greenhouse gas was being produced and how old the carbon it contained was.

Methane bubbles are trapped in the ice on a pond near Fairbanks, Alaska.

After examining the Arctic lakes in Alaska and Siberia over a period of 12 years, Katey Walter Anthony, the recent study's leading author, and her co-workers from the University of Alaska Fairbanks found out that what they called "abrupt thaw" is the culprit for the massive permafrost carbon emissions of this century. Thermokarst lakes occur when warming soil melts ground ice and cause the surface to collapse, forming pools of water.

The effort, conducted by a team of US and German researchers, is part of a 10-year NASA-funded project to better understand climate change effects on the Arctic. With thermokarst lakes, methane becomes the dominant driver responsible for 70 to 80 percent of warming-driven directly by permafrost thawing this century.

Turkey's President Erdogan vows to challenge economic threats
On Friday, ratings agencies Standard & Poor and Moody's downgraded Turkey's credit rating further to "junk" status. Erdogan said that Turkey would never bow before those "who set up their own order by exploiting the world".

This abrupt thawing of the permafrost beneath the lakes is especially risky because unlike shallow and gradual thawing of terrestrial permafrost, it is impossible to reverse it this century. "Over a few decades, thermokarst lake growth releases substantially more carbon than lake loss can lock in permafrost again [when the lake bottoms refreeze]". "Instead of centimeters of thaw, which is common for terrestrial environments, we've seen 15 meters of thaw beneath newly formed lakes in Goldstream Valley within the past 60 years".

Emissions from thermokarst lakes aren't now factored into global climate models because their small size makes individual lakes hard to include.

Permafrost thaw may accelerate, and it is more devastating and potent than scientists originally thought. Human fossil fuel emissions are the number one source of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, and in comparison, methane emissions from thawing permafrost make up only one percent of the global methane budget, Walter Anthony said. It is a potent greenhouse gas that is nearly 30 times more harmful to the climate than another major greenhouse gas carbon dioxide.

Existing models now attribute about 20 percent of the permafrost carbon feedback this century to methane, with the rest due to carbon dioxide from terrestrial soils. Most of the world's permafrost is found in areas of high latitudes, usually in close proximity to the Antarctic and Arctic regions. Permafrost is already thawing in some parts such as lakes beneath the Arctic. In addition, they used the field measurements to evaluate how well their model simulated the natural field conditions. However, Walter Anthony believes including them in future models is important for understanding the role of permafrost in the global carbon budget. "We can not get around this source of warming".

Recommended News

  • Danny Ings makes debut as Saints draw at home to Burnley

    Danny Ings makes debut as Saints draw at home to Burnley

    Mark Hughes' Southampton could be in for another hard season, as they produced a limp performance in Sunday's draw with Burnley.
    'Crazy Rich Asians' touted as Hollywood watershed

    'Crazy Rich Asians' touted as Hollywood watershed

    Crazy Rich Asians is an old school rom-com that takes place in the opulent and over-the-top world of upper crust Singapore. The cast of the romantic comedy is led by " Fresh Off the Boat's " Constance Wu and Hollywood newcomer Henry Golding .
    Rate the players (v Rotherham United)

    Rate the players (v Rotherham United)

    He conceded that his side need to respect opponents while still trying to play their own brand of football this season. Leeds will next travel to Wales to take on Swansea City on Tuesday night.
  • Google tracks your movements - even if you tell it to stop

    Google tracks your movements - even if you tell it to stop

    Typically, Google is quite transparent with asking for permission when it comes to location information. Google's support page has instructions on how to manage or delete your location history .
    Nurse Talks About West Nile Virus Found Here

    Nurse Talks About West Nile Virus Found Here

    Door County residents should be aware of West Nile virus and take some simple steps to protect themselves against mosquito bites. As always make sure you wear mosquito repellent, long sleeves and trousers to reduce your risk of getting bitten.
    Reports of fans injured while waiting for Backstreet Boys

    Reports of fans injured while waiting for Backstreet Boys

    Fourteen people were injured and received care onsite before going to nearby hospitals, according to the statement . WinStar spokeswoman Kym Koch Thompson said that around 150 people in line "did not heed staff's warnings".
  • India vs England 3rd Test Day 2 live updates

    India vs England 3rd Test Day 2 live updates

    They played their shots, ran their singles and twos as India maintained a healthy run-rate of 3.52 pe over throughout the day. But during his knock, he became the country's highest run-getting Test skipper on foreign shores, surpassing Sourav Ganguly.
    Sauter wins NASCAR Truck race at Bristol

    Sauter wins NASCAR Truck race at Bristol

    Enfinger clinched his spot in the top eight by starting the race, and Friesen secured the No. 7 slot in the second stage. He started 17th in the lineup and completed 161 laps of the 200-lap race before exiting the race (Power Steering).
    Trade talk hopes lift stocks

    Trade talk hopes lift stocks

    Marine transportation, precision instrument, and mining-oriented issues comprised those that gained the most by the close of play. Easing trade tensions gave relief to tariff-vulnerable industrials, which led the Dow Jones Industrial Average's advance.
  • Bobi wine charged, airlifted to Makindye barracks

    Bobi wine charged, airlifted to Makindye barracks

    In the ensuing chaos, police fired live rounds to disperse the crowd, killing Kyagulanyi's driver. He can't talk, he can't see [and] it is hard to say whether he understands this and that.
    Israel’s Shin Bet Interrogate And Threaten Reza Aslan

    Israel’s Shin Bet Interrogate And Threaten Reza Aslan

    Reza Aslan, a scholar, author and TV host, said that two weeks ago he made his fourth trip to Israel in the last 10 years. The Shin Bet also said its security procedures have "prevented terrorist and espionage activity in Israel" this year.
    Netflix Testing Running Ads Between Episodes, Users Protest

    Netflix Testing Running Ads Between Episodes, Users Protest

    The company confirmed the video promos to TechCrunch following an outcry from upset users who complained on the Netflix subreddit. All of the preview information about the next episode you were set to see disappears, and a video ad temporarily replaces it.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.