Thursday, August 11, 2005

As if we didn't have enough to worry about

Rising temperatures are apparently drawing us close to a humongous earth-fart that will accelerate the pace of global warming. From the Guaradian (via Susie Amdrak):

Warming hits 'tipping point'
A vast expanse of western Sibera is undergoing an unprecedented thaw that could dramatically increase the rate of global warming, climate scientists warn today.

Researchers who have recently returned from the region found that an area of permafrost spanning a million square kilometres - the size of France and Germany combined - has started to melt for the first time since it formed 11,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age.

The area, which covers the entire sub-Arctic region of western Siberia, is the world's largest frozen peat bog and scientists fear that as it thaws, it will release billions of tonnes of methane, a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere.

Taking out my trusty calculator, I estimate that this will be roughly equivalent to the result of having 1 million Denny Hasterts talking simulataneously for 20 minutes.

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