More Arctic & sea level "worse than we thought" scare stories

Yet, still the data doesn’t support it. As I reported two days ago, the sea level threat just isn’t there. Oh noes! Sea level rising three times faster than expected (again) and we’ve heard it before, right before the 2009 Copenhagen conference. This appears to be nothing more than recycled alarm.

Steve Goddard plotted a telling graph comparing sea level rates:

The image below shows actual sea level rise in blue measured by Envisat, versus the claimed rate of the experts (green)  (15 mm /year.)

Even the University of Colorado Sea Level trend only shows 3 mm per year, not 15mm, as would be required to get the sort of sea level rises they are talking about

From Lund university:

Effects of climate change in the Arctic more extensive than expected

A much reduced covering of snow, shorter winter season and thawing tundra. The effects of climate change in the Arctic are already here. And the changes are taking place significantly faster than previously thought. This is what emerges from a new research report on the Arctic, presented in Copenhagen this week. Margareta Johansson, from Lund University, is one of the researchers behind the report.

Together with Terry Callaghan, a researcher at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Margareta is the editor of the two chapters on snow and permafrost.

“The changes we see are dramatic. And they are not coincidental. The trends are unequivocal and deviate from the norm when compared with a longer term perspective”, she says.

The Arctic is one of the parts of the globe that is warming up fastest today. Measurements of air temperature show that the most recent five-year period has been the warmest since 1880, when monitoring began. Other data, from tree rings among other things, show that the summer temperatures over the last decades have been the highest in 2000 years. As a consequence, the snow cover in May and June has decreased by close to 20 per cent. The winter season has also become almost two weeks shorter – in just a few decades. In addition, the temperature in the permafrost has increased by between half a degree and two degrees.

“There is no indication that the permafrost will not continue to thaw”, says Margareta Johansson.

Large quantities of carbon are stored in the permafrost.

“Our data shows that there is significantly more than previously thought. There is approximately double the amount of carbon in the permafrost as there is in the atmosphere today”, says Margareta Johansson.

The carbon comes from organic material which was “deep frozen” in the ground during the last ice age. As long as the ground is frozen, the carbon remains stable. But as the permafrost thaws there is a risk that carbon dioxide and methane, a greenhouse gas more than 20 times more powerful than carbon dioxide, will be released, which could increase global warming.

“But it is also possible that the vegetation which will be able to grow when the ground thaws will absorb the carbon dioxide. We still know very little about this. With the knowledge we have today we cannot say for sure whether the thawing tundra will absorb or produce more greenhouse gases in the future”, says Margareta Johansson.

Effects of this type, so-called feedback effects, are of major significance for how extensive global warming will be in the future. Margareta Johansson and her colleagues present nine different feedback effects in their report. One of the most important right now is the reduction of the Arctic’s albedo. The decrease in the snow- and ice-covered surfaces means that less solar radiation is reflected back out into the atmosphere. It is absorbed instead, with temperatures rising as a result. Thus the Arctic has entered a stage where it is itself reinforcing climate change.

The future does not look brighter. Climate models show that temperatures will rise by a further 3 to 7 degrees. In Canada, the uppermost metres of permafrost will thaw on approximately one fifth of the surface currently covered by permafrost. The equivalent figure for Alaska is 57 per cent. The length of the winter season and the snow coverage in the Arctic will continue to decrease and the glaciers in the area will probably lose between 10 and 30 per cent of their total mass. All this within this century and with grave consequences for the ecosystems, existing infrastructure and human living conditions.

New estimates also show that by 2100, the sea level will have risen by between 0.9 and 1.6 metres, which is approximately twice the increase predicted by the UN’s panel on climate change, IPCC, in its 2007 report. This is largely due to the rapid melting of the Arctic icecap. Between 2003 and 2008, the melting of the Arctic icecap accounted for 40 per cent of the global rise in sea level.

“It is clear that great changes are at hand. It is all happening in the Arctic right now. And what is happening there affects us all”, says Margareta Johansson.

The report “Impacts of climate change on snow, water, ice and permafrost in the Arctic” has been compiled by close to 200 polar researchers. It is the most comprehensive synthesis of knowledge about the Arctic that has been presented in the last six years. The work was organised by the Arctic Council’s working group for environmental monitoring (the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme) and will serve as the basis for the IPCC’s fifth report, which is expected to be ready by 2014.

Besides Margareta Johansson, Torben Christensen from Lund University also took part in the work.

For more information:

Margareta Johansson, Division of Physical Geography and Ecosystems Analysis, Lund University, telephone: 046-2224480, mobile: 070-6842965, email: Margareta.Johansson@nateko.lu.se

Terry Callaghan, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, email: terry_callaghan@btinternet.com

Read more information on the report and The Artic as a messenger for global processes – climate change and pollution conference in Copenhagen where it is being presented today.

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PaulH

Scripps is picking up on this non-issue as well:
http://scrippsnews.ucsd.edu/Releases/?releaseID=1155
“The West Coast of North America has caught a break that has left sea level in the eastern North Pacific Ocean steady during the last few decades, but there is evidence that a change in wind patterns may be occurring that could cause coastal sea-level rise to accelerate beginning this decade.”

James Sexton

ISHH!!! More regurgitated garbage.
Apparently, they forgot to consult recent literature before they went full stupid on the arctic alarmism. http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/tietsche_grl_20111.pdf

Fred from Canuckistan

Must be time to apply for the next round of Research Grants.
The scarier the press releases, the more money can be expected to do more “research”.

jason

So the ground covered by the last ice age is now thawing. So it will end up thawed out…just like it was before the ice age. Erm….

Alex

Not the first time I have too feel shame for being from Sweden.

Hugh Pepper

This post is based on actual data. Your conclusion that it is alarmist is a strawman claim. The facts are what they are, and they can not be disputed out-of-hand. There is ample supportive evidence available to lead to the conclusion that sea level rise will be a problem sooner, rather than later.

wayne

Looking close at the graph, 2010’s minimum was less than 2005’s minimum, 2011’s maximum is less than 2006’s maximum, I see little change at all, but as usual, propaganda never considers such real facts like that, just warped invalid statistics.

If you follow the links then this really seems to be another case of “the best science politics can buy”:
“Read more information on the report and The Artic as a messenger for global processes – climate change and pollution conference in Copenhagen where it is being presented today.
May 3 – the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) will hold a workshop entitled Young Scientists‘ Arctic Messages to Policy Makers. The results of the workshop will be reported to the panel discussion on the last day of the Conference.
Who Should Attend
Scientists, decision–makers, Ph.D. students, administrators, managers, health care officials, indigenous peoples, representatives of industry and non-governmental organizations.”
Hmm….

Hugh Pepper,
If it’s worse than we thought, why is Steve Goddard’s graph not very frightening? The only scary part is the green line – a model projection. But the empirical evidence shows only natural variability.
Did it ever occur to you that Callaghan and Johannsen are grant-trolling? If not, take another look at that green line.

Ian

Hugh Pepper. Can you supply supportive evidence that the claimed rises in sea level and thawing in the Arctic are solely due to CO2 increases? It is that which is the nub of the discussions both here and elsewhere. I am not aware of any empirical evidence for this and would be grateful if you will provide it.

Ray

And what is the regression on that plot? It must be pretty bad that you could also put in a negative slope.

roger

“There is ample supportive evidence available to lead to the conclusion that sea level rise will be a problem sooner, rather than later.”
Man the lifeboats! Women and bedwetters first!

Gerald Machnee

Hugh Pepper says:
May 4, 2011 at 1:51 pm
***This post is based on actual data. ***
What stations were used since 1880 and where can I find the temperature measurements?

Matthew Bergin

Well Hugh since the sea level rise is so dangerous I will make sure that every decade or so I promise to take a single step away from the shore. In this way I should be safe. I will have to be diligent though, that pesky 1.5 mm per year can sneak up on you when you aren’t looking. sarc off

Espen

Hugh Pepper says:
May 4, 2011 at 1:51 pm
This post is based on actual data.

Try to read it without your AGW glasses on. I noticed the following:
(1) They suddenly think that a FIVE year long period is sufficient to make any conclusions about long term climate change (probably because if you look at the last 30 years, the current warming in the Arctic looks too similiar to the previous warm period in the 30s and 40s…). Well, then why not look at TEN years? Here’s “proof” that we’re entering a new ice age: RSS global temperatures trends DOWN over the last 10 years: http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:2001/plot/rss/from:2001/trend
(2) I’m pretty sure that this: “Other data, from tree rings among other things, show that the summer temperatures over the last decades have been the highest in 2000 years.” refers to Kaufman et al. 2009, and then it depends on the dubious Yamal data in order to make that claim valid.

Harold Ambler

While you’re at it, Mr. Pepper, perhaps you could expound on how the sea levels 4 to 6 meters higher than today during the last interglacial were natural but the rise in that direction today is not.
Speaking of sea level:
http://talkingabouttheweather.wordpress.com/2011/05/04/remember-when-sea-level-was-stable/

red432

Apparently you have to go several steps from the observed data to the panic button. (a) The snow melts earlier, (b) the ground is a bit warmer, (c) this will lead to release of stored carbon (maybe), and (d) more carbon in the air will cause additional warming, and (e) the warming will cause melting of ice in Greenland and Antarctica, and (f) the warmer sea will also expand, and therefore (g) the oceans will rise faster. Everything from (c) on is debatable. I’d also be interested in seeing confirmations on (a) and (b). And did the recent cold winter have any effect on this? I think the ski lifts will be open across the Western United States well into the summer.

Andrew30

Google: “faster than expected” “Ice”
By going back to only 2004, using different reports from different years, I get that the ice is now melting:
Much faster than even faster than faster than twice as fast as faster then three times faster then faster than expected.
If we could put a value on ‘faster’ we could know how wrong the modes where in 2004.
Sea level is similar.
It is absurd.

Stephen Brown

When I read this: “Climate models show that temperatures will rise by a further 3 to 7 degrees. ” I knew that all which followed was garbage.
Models?
What happened to REAL data? Do any of these so-called scientists ever look out of the window?

charles nelson

As the weather gets warmer these stories will appear like ice-cream ads.
Noted a spike in alarmism during the last brief heat-wave in UK.
They have always co-ordinated their press releases with warm weather…

Jimmy Haigh

Check out the sea level curve here – from Wikipedia. Sea levels in the geologic past have been up to 300m higher than present day levels. (This section has not yet been visited by the AGW police…)
“Sequence stratigraphy is a branch of geology that attempts to subdivide and link sedimentary deposits into unconformity bound units on a variety of scales and explain these stratigraphic units in terms of variations in sediment supply and variations in the rate of change in accommodation space (often associated with changes in relative sea level). ”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sequence_stratigraphy

Leon Brozyna

02 Nov 1947 — I experienced my first birthday.
02 Nov 1948 — I experienced my second birthday.
This trend has continued through the present day when, on 02 Nov 2010, I experienced my sixty-fourth birthday. At this rate, by the year 2100, I will be experiencing birthday number 154.
Hope you youngsters can keep up with me….

Frank

Much larger areas of permafrost thawed as the last ice age ended. Records of methane in the atmosphere from that period are available from numerous ice cores. If the methane levels then were a major player in warming then, this fact would be highly publicized. Since it hasn’t been, one can be sure the effect was small back then and will be even smaller in the future (since there is much less permafrost to thaw).
Just to be sure, let’s do the calculations: The Greenland ice core shows a sudden increase of CH4 from 500 ppb to 700 ppb about 12,000 years ago. Using the IPCC’s formula for the radiative forcing for methane (without correcting for the overlap with N2O which will reduce the forcing): deltaF = 0.036*(M2^0.5 – M1^0.5) = 0.15 W/m2; about 0.12 degC if climate sensitivity were 3 degC for 2X CO2.
In contrast, methane has increased from 700 ppb to 1745 ppb since 1750, producing am estimated forcing of 0.48 W/m2 (corrected for N2O) or 0.55 W/m2 (uncorrected).
http://www.grida.no/publications/other/ipcc%5Ftar/?src=/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/222.htm
http://www.pnas.org/content/97/4/1331.full

P. Solar

According to the “newspost” at http://www.lunduniversity.lu.se/o.o.i.s?id=24890&news_item=5580
” The effects of climate change in the Arctic are already here. And the changes are taking place significantly faster than previously thought. This is what emerges from a new research report on the Arctic, presented in Copenhagen this week. Margareta Johansson, from Lund University, is one of the researchers behind the report.”
So it seems this is not a “study” or a peer-reviewed paper , it’s a “research report”. One which it seems no-one can actually see, analyse and verify unless (possibly) they go to the meeting in Copenhagen.
So we have to go on hearsay and MSM regurgitation and reinterpretation of that hearsay.
“Measurements of air temperature show that the most recent five-year period has been the warmest since 1880, when monitoring began.”
Maybe they could tell us how many thermometers are currently reporting from inside the arctic circle. How many were there in 1880 ?! How where those measurements *extrapolated* across the region?
“Other data, from tree rings among other things, show that the summer temperatures over the last decades have been the highest in 2000 years. ”
OMG, their still rolling out Mann’s broken hockey-stick but dare not actually call it by name. It’s just “other data”.
“There is no indication that the permafrost will not continue to thaw”, says Margareta Johansson.
That is a statement that they know not , not that they know. There are a million things that we have no indication are not happening. That is neither research nor new.
We have no indications that there is not a pizza van at the north pole of Neptune, that in no way proves or suggests there is one.
This is clearly nothing but hot air but we can see the foundations of AR5 being carefully lain already.

son of mulder

“jason says:
May 4, 2011 at 1:34 pm
So the ground covered by the last ice age is now thawing. So it will end up thawed out…just like it was before the ice age. Erm….”
But it is worse than that… at the peak of the last ice age permafrost spread down to about 45deg N and has since retreated to about 64 deg N. This melting has caused massive problems to humanity like erm…errr….mmmmmm..errm..err ahh the need for fridges and errm….errr….. help me, there must be something else.

DirkH

If current trends continue, dishonesty in science will have wrecked the reputation of *ALL* scientific fields by summer 2015. /sarc

P. Solar

http://www.lunduniversity.lu.se/o.o.i.s?id=24890&news_item=5580
“And the changes are taking place significantly faster than previously thought.”
More non science “findings”. They now “think” it’s worse than they previously “thought”.
When do we get to hear about the science, facts instead of “thoughts” ?

Alexander

Even the University of Colorado Sea Level trend only shows 3 mm per year, not 15mm, as would be required to get the sort of sea level rises they are talking about.
I don’t know how reliable are the concerns about higher sea level rise, but there’s one thing I’m absolutely sure. There’s no scientist claiming 15 mm/y to be required for higher sea levels. There’s noone making a linear prediction of sea level rise, so this sentence ist just nonsense.
The present value of about 3mm/y is fitting to both predictions, or more precisely:
It’s to early to conclude anything from the present value.

morgo

the GOVT in australia are starting to tell people who live in big houses close to the sea shore they now live in a flood area , as the sea level will rise 900 mm by 2010 . not very good for your land value

morgo

sorry the sea level in australia will rise 900mm by 2100 not 2010 the GOVT will not change it,s mind on global warming it is going to send australia down the drain

Theo Goodwin

Such a wealth of targets. I feel like I am inside the Alamo during the battle. How about this little jewel:
‘“There is no indication that the permafrost will not continue to thaw”, says Margareta Johansson.’
Maggie, dear, scientists are expected to learn self-restraint and self-criticism. Lesson number one is that you do not make a claim that could be understood as science fiction. Do not suggest that the permafrost has entered a process of runaway thawing. A closely related lesson is that you do not make a claim that begs for ridicule. Maggie, dear, what would be an indication that the permafrost will not continue to thaw? That it is freezing? Would that work? So, you have ruled out the possibility that the permafrost will once again freeze during your professional career? Now, just how did you do that? Would you please explain. I bet it freezes again next October, if not sooner. If not by October, then certainly by January. Of course, Maggie, no doubt you have in mind some metaphysical kind of freezing that cannot be comprehended by mere mortals.

Jimbo

This is desperate, desperate stuff! I don’t know where to begin.

“Other data, from tree rings among other things, show that the summer temperatures over the last decades have been the highest in 2000 years………….Climate models show that temperatures will rise by a further 3 to 7 degrees.”

So were summer temperatures higher before 2000 years ago? Of course they were.
Ice free Arctic during the Holocene
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2010.08.016
Tundra where there were trees
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0033-5894(71)90069-X
Historic variations in Arctic ice
http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/06/16/historic-variation-in-arctic-ice-tony-b/
“It will without doubt have come to your Lordship’s knowledge that a considerable change of climate, inexplicable at present to us, must have taken place in the Circumpolar Regions, by which the severity of the cold that has for centuries past enclosed the seas in the high northern latitudes in an impenetrable barrier of ice has been during the last two years, greatly abated.

(This) affords ample proof that new sources of warmth have been opened and give us leave to hope that the Arctic Seas may at this time be more accessible than they have been for centuries past, and that discoveries may now be made in them not only interesting to the advancement of science but also to the future intercourse of mankind and the commerce of distant nations.”
President of the Royal Society, London, to the Admiralty, 20th November, 1817

Greenland
“The annual whole ice sheet 1919–32 warming trend is 33% greater in magnitude than the 1994–2007 warming.”
Jason E. Box et. al.
http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2009JCLI2816.1

Eric Anderson

Alexander: “The present value of about 3mm/y is fitting to both predictions, or more precisely: It’s to early to conclude anything from the present value.”
Except that we can conclude that there is no cause for alarm. That is, unless someone has a grounded, rational explanation (not hand-waving what-if’s) for how either: (i) 30 cm/century is a problem, or (ii) the rise will greatly accelerate in the future.

Theo Goodwin

DirkH says:
May 4, 2011 at 2:58 pm
“If current trends continue, dishonesty in science will have wrecked the reputation of *ALL* scientific fields by summer 2015. /sarc”
It’s worse than we thought. There has been a large acceleration in the number of newly minted Phds in science who employers find laughable. Today, surveys show that ninety-0ne percent of new science graduates are trusted only to sell used cars. /sarc
Actually, this little problem is getting darn scary. My genuine belief about all this is that the Left always believed that the Cold War and what they see as its replacement, 9/11 and its aftermath of wars, are huge lies told by conservatives so that they can maintain power in government. The Left never understood the Cold War or 9/11, as a gazillion quotations from Jimmy Carter and such people can easily prove. In their pathetic way, the Left is trying to use climate science to tell their own huge lie as a counter to what they believe are conservative lies. But their effort is pathetic. They chose to lie in science, the one arena where there is an objective standard of truth. Dumbies! (Disclaimer: I do not mean to suggest that conservatives were actually lying.)

Theo Goodwin

Hugh Pepper says:
May 4, 2011 at 1:51 pm
Hugh is a computer, right? Even Alan Turing would recognize that no human can produce such perfect CAGW-speak.

Sam Glasser

It’s been said before: If the term “Arctic Ice” means sea ice, then there is no change in sea level from the seasonal melting and regeneration (neglecting density diiference between fresh and salt water). Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t thermal expansion the major factor in sea level rise? Simple logic says: if the sea level doesn’t rise, then there is no thermal expansion and/or net addition of water to the ocean. Again: if 40% of the “sea level” rise of late was caused by melting of ice, then why wasn’t the rise of sea level much less than recorded before this alleged occurrence?

juanslayton

New estimates also show that by 2100, the sea level will have risen by between 0.9 and 1.6 metres…. This is largely due to the rapid melting of the Arctic icecap.
Arctic icecap? Floating ice raising sea level when it melts? Well, at least they can spell ‘arctic’ correctly.

Jimbo

Hugh Pepper says:
May 4, 2011 at 1:51 pm
This post is based on actual data. Your conclusion that it is alarmist is a strawman claim. The facts are what they are, and they can not be disputed out-of-hand. There is ample supportive evidence available to lead to the conclusion that sea level rise will be a problem sooner, rather than later.

How soon? Here is the ‘evidence’ from the above:

“There is no indication that the permafrost will not continue to thaw”, says Margareta Johansson…..
“…………which could increase global warming.”
“But it is also possible that the vegetation which will be able to grow when the ground thaws will absorb the carbon dioxide. ”
Climate models show that temperatures will rise by a further 3 to 7 degrees.”
“New estimates also show that by 2100, the sea level will have risen by between 0.9 and 1.6 metres, ….”

Have you considered soot backed up by wind?
It’s worse than I had previously thought. This winter has been a calamity due to lack of snow in the Northern Hemisphere. Temperatures has been tropical as peoples’ heating bills went waaaaaay down. I hope you come back to WUWT in 5 years time when the horrible truth suddenly sinks in. ;O)

Jimbo

Hugh Pepper says:
May 4, 2011 at 1:51 pm
This post is based on actual data.

Here is the data. Show me the trend.
[Dedicated to Arctic temperatures since the 1958]
http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php
Arctic sea ice concentration is looking VERY bad indeed. Since 2007 it has not gone into a death style spiral.
http://home.comcast.net/~ewerme/wuwt/cryo_compare.jpg
Open your eyes my friend. Times are a changing.

Jimbo

Sam Glasser says:
May 4, 2011 at 4:24 pm
It’s been said before: If the term “Arctic Ice” means sea ice, then there is no change in sea level from the seasonal melting and regeneration (neglecting density diiference between fresh and salt water). Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t thermal expansion the major factor in sea level rise?

You have hit the problem. The ‘other’ evidence points to a deceleration of the rate of sea level rise.
http://www.jcronline.org/doi/pdf/10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-10-00157.1
Not to mention water extraction for irrigation adding to sea level rise.
http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2010/2010GL044571.shtml
I have been informed that there would be a very small rise in sea level if all of the Arctic melts.

Jimbo

Clarification:
I have been informed that there would be a very small rise in sea level if all of the Arctic [sea ice] melts.

RACookPE1978

Hugh Pepper says:
May 4, 2011 at 1:51 pm (Edit)

This post is based on actual data. Your conclusion that it is alarmist is a strawman claim. The facts are what they are, and they can not be disputed out-of-hand. There is ample supportive evidence available to lead to the conclusion that sea level rise will be a problem sooner, rather than later.

Hmmmn.
1. Actual measured values for summer temperatures at latitude 80 north since 1958 are declining.
2. All of the annual winter ice on arctic land surfaces (other than icecaps obviously) melts completely during summer months. So, the extent of “summer melting” is completely eliminated over any winter. There has NO relationship between winter maximum ice extents and summer ice extents the preceding or following years.
Therefore, what exactly IS the “melting albedo effect” so often alarmed about in CAGW forecasts of feedback? After all, the Arctic is not exposed to the sun in sufficient amounts to reflect sufficient heat from the surface ice to affect temperatures.

Frank K.

“Studies” like this make one wish that the FUNDING for climate “research” would decline “faster than expected”…

thechuckr

Hugh Pepper, computer models are not “proof” nor are they data. Satellite and tidal gauge observations show the rate of sea level rise is 2-3 mm per year, perhaps even slowing down in the last 3 years.

Gneiss

racookpe1978 writes a very strange note,
“Hmmmn.
1. Actual measured values for summer temperatures at latitude 80 north since 1958 are declining.”
By “actual measured values,” do you mean the DMI modeled values? What exactly is declining, and how does this contradict anything AMAP has written?
“2. All of the winter ice on arctic land surfaces melts completely during summer months. So, the extent of “summer melting” is completely eliminated over any winter. There has NO relationship between winter maximum ice extents and summer ice extents the preceding or following years. “
I can’t even guess what you meant here. Arctic land surfaces have many glaciers, ice caps, shelves, ice sheets, gullies, mountains, and snow fields where last winter’s ice survives the next summer. Less so than there used to be, but what “melts completely”?
Sea ice doesn’t all melt either, and has a well-known relationship between winter maximum and summer minimum the preceding and following years.
“Therefore, what exactly IS the “melting albedo effect” so often alarmed about in CAGW forecasts of feedback? After all, the Arctic is not exposed to the sun in sufficient amounts to reflect sufficient heat from the surface ice to affect temperatures.”
I gather you have never been to the Arctic, or read anything about it?

t stone

From the report:
“Large quantities of carbon are stored in the permafrost.”
and:
“The carbon comes from organic material which was “deep frozen” in the ground during the last ice age. As long as the ground is frozen, the carbon remains stable. But as the permafrost thaws there is a risk that carbon dioxide and methane, a greenhouse gas more than 20 times more powerful than carbon dioxide, will be released, which could increase global warming.”
Now these two – Johansson and Callaghan – are researchers. Scientists, right? Yet they can’t be bothered to make the distinction between an element and a compound. I am not a scientist by profession, I studied English literature, but I know the difference between carbon and carbon dioxide. And I recognize a scary story when I see one; this one’s a beaut. Pure fiction.

Crispin in Waterloo

There is nothing fundamentally different between permafrost and peat. Does peat spontaneously evaporate into CH4? All of it?
What exactly is the basis of the claim that melting permafrost emits masses of methane? For sure, some of it will turn into CO2, some to CH4, and quite a bit into organic carbon in the soil and the rest into new growth.
A consistent theme in the alarmist claims about melting permafrost (melting is not a rare event – the ‘line’ moves north and south all the time) is that it is akin to a balloon of methane about to pop when its ice cork melts. Nonsense. What is abundantly clear from areas that have recently melted, like the MacKenzie River valley at Inuvik, is that trees grow rapidly and in abundance as soon as the ground is warm enough to let their roots penetrate. You can hardly walk between the trees at Arctic Red. This is goint to happen even before the deeper layers melt.
The statement that there is twice as much carbon in the permafrost as there is in the atmosphere a) indicates how little there is in the atmosphere, and b) raises the question as to where the carbon came from to build up the permafrost biomass. The atmosphere, right? Did the loss of all that carbon-dioxide from the air initiate or exacerbate an ice age? Probably not, because the presence or absence of CO2 simply does not have as much influence on the global temperature as several other factors.

2Hotel9

I ain’t no science thingie guy, but don’t the ice melt EVERY summer, and freeze EVERY winter, almost like some sorta cycle whatchamacallit?

Karl Juve

I spent several years in Prudoe Bay in the middle 80’s. The permafrost there was thawing to about 30″ below the surface every year. And the permafrost was about 2500 feet deep. My question is “How much further down is it thawing now, and how long will it take to get to 2500 feet?”
KJuve