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The world's largest frozen peat bog is melting, which could speed the rate of global warming, New Scientist reports. The huge expanse of western Siberia is thawing for the first time since its formation, 11,000 years ago. The area, which is the size of France and Germany combined, could release billions of tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. This could potentially act as a tipping point, causing global warming to snowball, scientists fear. The situation is an "ecological landslide that is probably irreversible and is undoubtedly connected to climatic warming," researcher Sergei Kirpotin, of Tomsk State University, Russia, told New Scientist magazine.
The whole western Siberian sub-Arctic region has started to thaw, he added, and this "has all happened in the last three or four years".
Originally posted by Icarus Rising
Wow, and a double post, too. You know what they say, if you can't dazzle 'em with brilliance, baffle 'em with you know what.
Dr Rajendra Pachauri, the chairman of the official Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), told an international conference attended by 114 governments in Mauritius this month that he personally believes that the world has "already reached the level of dangerous concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere" and called for immediate and "very deep" cuts in the pollution if humanity is to "survive".
His comments rocked the Bush administration - which immediately tried to slap him down - not least because it put him in his post after Exxon, the major oil company most opposed to international action on global warming, complained that his predecessor was too "aggressive" on the issue.
memorandum from Exxon to the White House in early 2001 specifically asked it to get the previous chairman, Dr Robert Watson, the chief scientist of the World Bank, "replaced at the request of the US". The Bush administration then lobbied other countries in favour of Dr Pachauri - whom the former vice-president Al Gore called the "let's drag our feet" candidate, and got him elected to replace Dr Watson, a British-born naturalized American, who had repeatedly called for urgent action.
He told delegates: "Climate change is for real. We have just a small window of opportunity and it is closing rather rapidly. There is not a moment to lose."
Afterwards he told The Independent on Sunday that widespread dying of coral reefs, and rapid melting of ice in the Arctic, had driven him to the conclusion that the danger point the IPCC had been set up to avoid had already been reached.
Climate change poses a bigger threat to the planet than terrorism - so says the UK government's chief scientific adviser
The World Health Organisation's Europe Global Change and Health Programme has estimated that more than 25,000 people died in last year's European heat wave, caused by global warming
British Prime Minister Tony Blair says addressing climate change is his key priority during the UK's chairing of the G8.
The Pentagon says climate change should be "elevated beyond a scientific debate to a national security concern."
East coast, Greenland — Independent scientists on board the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise yesterday discovered that a Greenland glacier has accelerated in the past nine years, exceeding all expectations, and has now become one of the fastest moving glaciers in the world. These observations validate predictions of the response of Greenland glaciers to recent climate change.
Preliminary findings indicate Kangerdlugssuaq Glacier on Greenland's east coast could be one of the fastest moving glaciers in the world with a speed of almost 14 kilometres per year. The measurements were made this week using high precision GPS survey methods. The results were compared with measurements made with satellite imagery that revealed the glacier's speed was five kilometres per year in 1988. In addition, Kangerdlugssuaq Glacier unexpectedly receded approximately five kilometres since 2001 after maintaining a stable position for the past 40 years. Outlet glaciers like Kangerdlugssuaq transport ice from the heart of the Greenland Ice Sheet to the ocean and discharge icebergs which contribute to sea level rise. Kangerdlugssuaq Glacier alone transports or "drains" four percent of the ice from the Greenland Ice Sheet, and so any changes in the speed of these glaciers holds tremendous significance in terms of sea level rise.
"Greenland's shrinking glaciers are sending an urgent warning to the world that action is needed now to stop climate change," said Martina Krueger, Greenpeace Expedition Leader on board the Arctic Sunrise. "How many more urgent warnings does the Bush Administration need before it takes meaningful action on climate change?" said Krueger.