Arctic methane ‘time bomb’ could have huge costs

| 25/07/2013

(BBC): Scientists say that the release of large amounts of methane from thawing permafrost in the Arctic could have huge economic impacts for the world. The researchers estimate that the climate effects of the release of this gas could cost $60 trillion (£39 trillion), roughly the size of the global economy in 2012. The impacts are most likely to be felt in developing countries they say. Scientists have had concerns about the impact of rising temperatures on permafrost for many years. Large amounts of methane are concentrated in the frozen Arctic tundra but are also found as semi-solid gas hydrates under the sea.

Previous work has shown that the diminishing ice cover in the East Siberian sea is allowing the waters to warm and the methane to leach out. Scientists have found plumes of the gas up to a kilometre in diameter rising from these waters.

In this study, the researchers have attempted to put an economic price on the climate damage that these emissions of methane could cause. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, even though it lasts less than a decade in the atmosphere.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    GW is a myth.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is odd that those with strong views aligned with American conservatives are so quick to call global warming a myth while being so sure about the whole creationism spiel.

  2. Anonymous says:

    a story like this is lost on the people of cayman…their 'caymankind' environmental mentality can be summed up by mount thrashmore……

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is why I drink all my money as having a pension will be pointless.

  4. Anonymous says:

    ….And the answer will be… impose new taxes.  Because everyone knows, taxes always fix holes in the ionasphere.


    People who believe in this utter nonsense are just laughably stupid and ignorant.

    • Anonymous says:

      This person watches Fox and thinks it portrays the news in a balanced factually accurate way.

  5. bobodread says:

    The previous administration should be remembered as a "Tropical methane time bomb".

  6. Anonymous says:

    Mac used to put out more methane than that on a good day…even more on a bad one.