21 Complacent about Arctic
In our cover story in May 16-31, 2012, we discussed how nations surrounding the Arctic, India and China, are in a frenzy not to let go of even an inch of their territory and the huge natural resources trapped beneath it. We asked, "Is Arctic rush worth it?" Scientists warn that locked in its permafrost is twice as much carbon as in the atmosphere. Freeing up of this carbon and access to more hydrocarbons will accentuate global warming. A recent study published in
Nature in April 2015 underscores our fear. It says 1,330-1,580 billion tonnes of carbon is stored in permafrost in the northern hemisphere, which is likely to be released over many decades. These emissions would translate into an additional climate warming of 0.130.27oC by 2100, and up to 0.42oC by 2300.