Social Media Sidebar


Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

When seen through the lens of technology, few resources are truly scarce; they’re mainly inaccessible. 


Peter Diamandis

Siberian permafrost thaw warning sparked by cave data

Posted in Science on 24th Feb, 2013 03:04 AM by AlexMuller

Evidence from Siberian caves suggests that a global temperature rise of 1.5C could see permafrost thaw over a large area of Siberia. A study shows that more than a trillion tonnes of the greenhouse gases CO2 and methane could be released into the atmosphere as a result. An international team has published details in the journal Science.


The evidence comes from analysis of stalactites and stalagmites in caves along the "permafrost frontier".


This is where ground begins to be permanently frozen in layers that can be tens to hundreds of metres thick. Stalactites and stalagmites only grow when liquid rainwater and snowmelt drip into the caves.


So these formations record 500,000 years of changing permafrost conditions - including warmer periods similar to the climate of today. The records from a particularly warm period called Marine Isotopic Stage 11, which occurred around 400,000 years ago, suggest that warming of 1.5C compared to the present is enough to cause substantial thawing of permafrost - even in areas far north from its present-day southern limit.


"The stalactites and stalagmites from these caves are a way of looking back in time to see how warm periods similar to our modern climate affect how far permafrost extends across Siberia," said Dr Anton Vaks from the University of Oxford.


"As permafrost covers 24% of the land surface of the Northern Hemisphere, significant thawing could affect vast areas and release (billions of tonnes) of carbon."


He added: "'This has huge implications for ecosystems in the region, and for aspects of the human environment. "For instance, natural gas facilities in the region, as well as power lines, roads, railways and buildings are all built on permafrost and are vulnerable to thawing. Such a thaw could damage this infrastructure with obvious economic implications."

Read original article » Back to category



Recent headlines

  • Posted in Software on 2018-03-16 11:03:28
    60.3% of harmful Android apps in 2017 detected more
    Posted in Hardware on 2018-03-16 11:00:28
    Big harpoon is 'solution to space junk' more
    Posted in Science on 2018-03-16 10:58:40
    Russia will beat NASA to mars and find water on the moon, more
    Posted in Business on 2018-03-14 07:02:30
    X Prize announces $10 million competition to more
    Posted in Business on 2018-03-14 06:57:20
    How to spot a cryptocurrency more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs, more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    Martian landscapes formed from sand 'levitating' on a more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Scientists detect comets outside our solar more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Advanced artificial limbs mapped in the more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Bacteria have a sense of more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Recurrent brain cancer: New hope with phase 1 clinical more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Remember me

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Verify password:
Remember me