Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Two greenhouse gases rose sharply in '07

Is this the dreaded methane pulse? From MSNBC, via the AP: Despite international levels to curb their growth, global emissions of two key greenhouse gases — carbon dioxide and methane — rose sharply last year and fears are that melting permafrost might be partly responsible for the latter, federal scientists reported Wednesday.

"Atmospheric carbon dioxide, the primary driver of global climate change, increased by 0.6 percent, or 19 billion tons," the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in a statement announcing the findings. "Additionally methane rose by 27 million tons after nearly a decade with little or no increase."

Attributed primarily to the burning of fossil fuels, carbon dioxide concentration in the air increased by 2.4 parts per million last year, NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory reported. That means 2.4 molecules of carbon dioxide were added to every million molecules of air….

Polygons of meltwater atop permafrost, US Geological Survey, Wikimedia Commons

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