Scientists issued a dire warning on Tuesday to UN climate negotiators in Bonn of a vicious global warming cycle that will be unlocked with the thawing of carbon-bearing permafrost.
- The paper was published in the journal of Nature.
- According to researchers over 1,500 billion tonnes of carbon locked away in permafrost along the perennially frozen grounds of northern hemisphere.
- The amount of carbon stored in permafrost, where it has accumulated over tens of thousands of years, is estimated to be about twice as much as that in the atmosphere
- Permafrost may be vast underestimated greenhouse gas.
- Current statistic show that by 2100 AD, over 130-160 gigatonnes of carbon will be released into the atmosphere, with a projected permafrost loss of between 30 and 70 per cent by 2100, depending on the world’s emissions trajectory.
- Country negotiators in Bonn are seeking to streamline a draft global climate pact, which is scheduled to be adopted at a UN conference in Paris in December.
What is Permafrost ?
- Permafrost is a soil at or below the freezing point of water 0 °C for two or more years.
- It is also called as Cryotic soil.
- Permafrost regions are located mostly at high altitudes like Arctic region and Antarctic region.
- Permafrost accounts for 0.022% of total water on earth and exists in 24% of exposed land in the Northern Hemisphere.
- A global temperature rise of 1.5 °C above current levels would be enough to start the thawing of permafrost in Siberia.
What is thawing ?
- Scientifically, is a process whereby heat changes something from a solid to a liquid.
- For example melting of ice due to warm weather.