This is a few days old, I was too dismayed to bear posting about it. But it has gotten remarkbly little attention.
The world’s largest frozen peat bog is melting, which could speed the rate of global warming, New Scientist reports.
The huge expanse of western Siberia is thawing for the first time since its formation, 11,000 years ago.
The area, which is the size of France and Germany combined, could release billions of tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
This could potentially act as a tipping point, causing global warming to snowball, scientists fear.
“This is a big deal because you can’t put the permafrost back once it’s gone. The causal effect is human activity and it will ramp up temperatures even more than our emissions are doing.”
The intergovernmental panel on climate change speculated in 2001 that global temperatures would rise between 1.4C and 5.8C between 1990 and 2100.
However these estimates only considered global warming sparked by known greenhouse gas emissions.
“These positive feedbacks with landmasses weren’t known about then,” Dr Viner said. “They had no idea how much they would add to global warming.”