Arctic Ecosphere Collapse: The Strange Case of the Shaky Tundra

As (Not So) Permafrost Thaws, Methane Bubbles Cause The Ground To Wobble “Like Jelly”

Not a regular subscriber to the Siberian Times? We wouldn’t miss an issue, because these guys are reporting on what amounts to the collapse of the Arctic as global warming wreaks havoc – in what now appears to be an accelerated time frame.

The latest development is the “Trembling Tundra” phenomenon, in which “the Earth is moving as leaking methane gas due to global warming causes surface to bubble in a new phenomenon” in the words of the Siberian Times report. See the video for one example.

On Belyy Island in northern Siberia off the Yamal Peninsula, what were described as “fountains of gas” erupted up out of the permafrost when grass and soil was removed by researchers. The scientists say the CO2 releases in these areas are 20 times the norm, while methane (CH4) releases are 200 times natural levels.  So far, over a dozen of these bubble zones have been found, but that is likely just the tip of the iceberg.

CO2 lasts for about 500 years in the atmosphere. CH4 only lasts for about 12 before it begins to break down, but it is about 40 time more powerful than CO2 as a greenhouse gas.

The jiggling tundra reports are only one example of the strange and/or frightening doings across the northern third of the globe: Siberia, Alaska, Northern Canada and Greenland. More below.

Global Warming Induced Earthquakes:
A trend you are hearing nothing about now – but will be hearing plenty about soon – is global warming induced earthquakes. There is a simple cause and effect scenario at work here: trillions of tons of ice have gone missing from the Greenland land mass due to rapid glacier melt, allowing the earth to begin rising on a very large scale. The principle is called isostatic rebound and is a known cause of seismic activity. For the previous year, at least 48 earthquakes over 4.0 occurred at the fault spine running down the Atlantic Ocean to the east of the giant island. A few have been over 4.5 on the Richter Scale.

Whenever pressures change in underground rock formations, quakes can happen. The only question with the Greenland effect is how much the process can amplify around the planet. This is a viable but unknown possibility.

Surging temperatures and wildfires in Alaska
Alaska is warming twice as fast as the rest of the USA, with temperatures consistently 3F warmer that a half century ago. In terms of geological and meteorological time, this is lighting fast. The state’s wildfire season is now about 40% longer – roughly from May through early August.

Ice Cap Cannibalism – Another unfortunate feedback loop
The black soot that now covers much of Greenland’s surface has changed the properties of the ice cap. It now absorbs more solar radiation and reflects back less, causing the ice caps to shrink even more rapidly. The more ice that melts, the less there is to reflect the sun, causing a classic feedback loop and incidentally, sending more melt into the oceans. In spite of what the GOP claims, the seas are rising.

We first heard about the bizarre land forms known as Pingos from the Siberian Times. Pretty sure you won’t get this news on Fox.

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