The Effect of Melting Permafrost

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It is predicted that the effect of permafrost melting will be that the ocean levels will rise and will significantly increase the temperature and accelerate the rate at which global warming occurs. Permafrost covers 24% of the land in the Northern Hemisphere (Insert Citation), if this was to melt 1700 gigatonnes of methane and carbon dioxide (Insert Citation), powerful heat trapping gases, would be released into the atmosphere increasing the amount of greenhouse gases by 200%. Permafrost is permanently frozen soil which hasn’t melted in 2 years or more, it also makes up 24% of the land in the Northern Hemisphere and it stores massive amounts of carbon inside of it (Insert Citation). Permafrost contains large amounts of frozen organic matter and if this organic matter thaws out and starts to decay it will release carbon into the air. As a result of global warming and climate change, permafrost is at risk of melting, releasing the carbon trapped inside, it has been estimated that the permafrost contains 1700 gigatonnes of carbon inside of it (Insert Citation), which is double the amount of carbon in the atmosphere already and there is no way to stop the permafrost melting besides slowing it down by reducing our emissions. Figure 1 shows the northern hemisphere and how much of the land contains permafrost. It can be seen that there is a significant amount of permafrost in the northern hemisphere and if this were to melt there would be a dramatic increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Figure 1: Map of the Northern Hemisphere showing permafrost Obtained from: (What is permafrost? 2013) Permafrost contains a great quantity of carbon, when it melts it releases the carbon in the form of carbon dioxide and methane, potent greenh... ... middle of paper ... ...ermafrost-the-untold-water-sculpting-from-below/ Agency, E. P. (n.d.). Melting Permafrost. Retrieved from epa: http://www.epa.gov/climatestudents/impacts/signs/permafrost.html Inc., W. U. (n.d.). Permafrost. Retrieved from wunderground: http://www.wunderground.com/climate/permafrost.asp?MR=1 Nave, R. (n.d.). The Expansion of Water Upon Freezing. Retrieved from hyperphysics: http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/chemical/waterdens.html Takver. (2012, 11 30). Climate Change: Methane and CO2 in thawing Arctic permafrost a climate tipping point. Retrieved from indybay: http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2012/11/30/18726866.php What is permafrost? (2013, 7 6). Retrieved from Defrosting the Freezer: http://www.defrostingthefreezer.co.uk/what-is-permafrost Kevin S. (2012, 28 11). Combating Climate Change. Retrieved from youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=too4nQqomJk
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