Can Melting Antarctic Permafrost Help Push Global Warming?

01 Jul

How did ancient global warming occur and are we heading that way again? First, let’s just state the obvious and not carp on is it or isn’t it true. Our Earth goes through its own life-cycles, and it does grow warm and cool depending on so many variables that we, humans, can’t yet contemplate. Our scientists do the best they can with the information they can “see”, but there are so many other factors that play a part in these Earth changes. One example is the tilt of our Earth. Every twenty-thousand years or so, the earth wobbles in its orbit; this wobble tilts the Earth just right and wham! The Sahara Desert is now a tropical oasis. I was so excited when I first learned this, but we have at least another fifteen thousand years to go before the next ‘wobble’.

So is there a global warming. You bet there is. But, I do not believe it is caused just by humans, although we may play a small role in it, I honestly think we are entering one of Mother Earth’s changes. Such an event took place some fifty-five million years ago. During that change the world abruptly warmed by 5 degrees Celsius and turned the oceans acidic.

But how? That is the question scientists have been working on for over fourteen years, and may finally have an answer. The green-house gases needed may have gushed into the atmosphere from thawing permafrost in an ice-free Antarctica. Although this is still a theory, it is possible that extremely large stores of methane hydrates, created by rotted plants stored in coal, the mud in oceans and lakes and in soil can freeze and become huge storage vaults. As the permafrost melts, the gas is released.

So as we thaw permafrost today, it is releasing these greenhouse gasses back into the atmosphere. Once the tipping point is met and substantial melting occurs you can have a sudden explosion of methane gas gushing into the atmosphere.

The problem with this theory, just like any other, is how do you prove it.


Posted by on July 1, 2012 in Earth Changes, Global Warming, Science


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2 responses to “Can Melting Antarctic Permafrost Help Push Global Warming?

  1. in every atom

    July 19, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    This is a great article. I agree that there are too many variables in play that cause global changes, and human activity is not the chief variable. As you indicated, the tilt and the wobble are two variables that can cause such drastic changes, and we don’t even know the whole of it. The wobble is something that occurs on a gallactic scale and it isn’t just an earth caused phenomenon. Then there is the magnetic pole shifting, and who knows that effects the earth?
    There is a reason why not all scientists agree on all the different global warming hypotheses – it is because scientists working on their pet hypotheses have failed to advance it to a scientific theory or a law. Until that happens, there will always be controversies, and rightly so, otherwise, we may as well discard scientific methods and principles, and return to mere belief.

  2. charlesmichelduke

    July 31, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    The problem is this. While we are talking about variables and hoodwinking each other, the ice is melting, just like in Greenland this summer.

    But we need to move beyond climate change, and how we as a species are going to adapt to the inevitable rise in sea levels.


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