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2018: Permafrost Melt Lakes Surges Arctic Methane Release | High Sierra Backpacker

2018: Permafrost Melt Lakes Surges Arctic Methane Release

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 16 August 2018


Permafrost Melt Lakes Surges Arctic Methane Release

Another Greenhouse Effect Trigger-Point: Permafrost Ponds Outgassing MethaneMethane bubbles trapped in the ice on a pond near Fairbanks, Alaska.Image: Credit to Katey Walter Anthony observing, analyizing, and picturing (above) Methane bubbles trapped in ice ponds, the knarly ones pictured above located near Fairbanks, Alaska. Yikes! Another methane bubble image by Katey Walter Anthony, University of Alaska Fairbanks.


Permafrost Melt Lakes Surges Arctic Methane Release

'Abrupt thaw' of permafrost beneath lakes could significantly affect climate change models,
University of Alaska Fairbanks, August 16, 2018.


Already Failed Models
We’ve already seen that the “standard” climate models predicting 2 degrees of climate warming by 2100 are looking wildly inaccurate, while those predicting twice the warming by 2100, and those predicting up to Four Degrees by 2084 are much more precisely fitting the observed progression of our weather.

Another Greenhouse Gas Trigger
This is yet another, “trigger,” an unanticipated, but huge source of methane-release triggered at much lower levels of heat and carbon that brings on ever greater levels of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. Let’s see how this research pushes us closer to a hot-house planet, if not a runaway greenhouse effect, as we observe on our neighbor Venus. Hawking was not optimistic...

Hawking: Soaring populations and increased energy demands will cause catastrophe


Significantly Accelerate Climate Change
“Methane released by thawing permafrost from some Arctic lakes could significantly accelerate climate change...”

Death of the Permafrost
“...carbon released by thawing permafrost beneath thermokarst lakes. Such lakes develop when warming soil melts ground ice, causing the surface to collapse and form pools of water. Those pools accelerate permafrost thaw beneath the expanding lakes, providing food for microbes that produce the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane.”

The Lab
“...studied hundreds of thermokarst lakes in Alaska and Siberia during a 12-year period, measuring their growth and how much methane was bubbling to their surface.”

Doubling Terrestrial Releases by 2050
“...they determined the "abrupt thaw" beneath such lakes is likely to release large amounts of permafrost carbon into the atmosphere this century. The lake activity could potentially double the release from terrestrial landscapes by the 2050s.”

Our Tax Dollars at Good Work
“...part of a 10-year NASA-funded project to better understand climate change effects on the Arctic.”

Quick Mechanism
“...the release of greenhouse gases beneath thermokarst lakes is relatively rapid, with deep thawing taking place over the course of decades. Permafrost in terrestrial environments generally experiences shallow seasonal thawing over longer time spans.”

Rapid and Deep Changes
"Thermokarst lakes provide a completely different scenario. When the lakes form, they flash-thaw these permafrost areas,...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 currently factored into global climate models because their small size makes individual lakes difficult to include.”

“That feedback is significant because methane is about 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a heat-trapping gas.”

“By including thermokarst lakes, methane becomes the dominant driver, responsible for 70 to 80 percent of permafrost carbon-caused warming this century.”Sloan Digital Sky Survey

It’s Happening, and It’s Huge, If we Include it in Models, or Not
“Unlike shallow, gradual thawing of terrestrial permafrost, the abrupt thaw beneath thermokarst lakes is irreversible this century.”

"You can't stop the release of carbon from these lakes once they form...We cannot get around this source of warming."



More Methane Madness

Climate Crash News: Blowing Bubbles. Methane Bubbles

Water News, Shallow Lakes in a Warmer World: Methane Bubbling Machines



NASA Publication

Future Boost of Methane Possible from Arctic Permafrost,

Frozen Methane Bubble in thermokarst lake caused by permafrost thawing.
Frozen Methane Bubble in thermokarst lake caused by permafrost thawing, credit to NASA. Original image.

 NASA Publication of

Permafrost Melt Lakes Surges Arctic Methane Release

Unexpected Future Boost of Methane Possible from Arctic Permafrost,
NASA, August 17, 2018.




Permafrost Doomed

Eco Crash News: Furthest Northern Arctic Permafrost to Melt

END OF COLD: Say Goodbye to Permafrost



Releasing a Series of Climate Triggers

Crashing Through Unanticipated Tipping Points



Not Just Permafrost Lakes are Releasing Methane...

Soil Itself Releases more CO2 in Our Warming World

Warm Soil, Heatwaves & Microbes: Two Pieces of Climate Change-Soil Disaster Research



Big Chunks of the Planet Becoming Uninhabitable

MIT Reports

2018 Climate Change News: North China Plain Rapidly Becoming Uninhabitable
(SE Asia and Persian Gulf, too)



Climate Model

Climate models cannot keep up with our rate of CO2 production,
and its associated rates of climate and ecosystem degradation.

Worse models the Best?

Two Degrees Already Baked In

Improved Models Show Grim Future

Four Degrees by 2084


This thing's off the hook.



The Bottom LIne

Climate: "Existential Threat" by 2050


Beyond Catastrophic




 Read 'em Weep,







August 2018 News of Man & Nature






News from Nature


Climate Destruction News



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