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This alarming issue is finally getting some attention in the MSM.

Siberian Holes Could Be 'Visible Effect' of Global Warming, Experts Say

"It’s a clear indication that something is happening to the Earth," Ed Dlugokencky, a top federal federal scientist who researches methane in the atmosphere at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told NBC News.

Two-thirds of climate change is caused by human activity, Dlugokencky said, and "we don't see that changing. So we’ll see if these sorts of changes become a widespread phenomenon. It's certainly possible. I'm concerned about it."

In the Arctic, at least, where global warming is felt acutely, Ruppel of the U.S. Geological Survey is especially concerned: "Instead of a solid block of permafrost, you now have a hole where warm summer air can get in.

"What we may find a few years down the line is that these holes are a harbinger of things to come," Ruppel said.

In the meantime, Dlugokencky said, increased methane emissions at the crater sites are concerning enough. The scariest part about methane -- which has 20 times the effect on global warming as carbon dioxide does over a 100-year period -- is its cyclical damage, Dlugokencky said.

When methane is released into the atmosphere, it warms up the planet. And that warming, in turn, thaws permafrost and releases more methane -- starting the cycle anew.

From the Scientific Journal Nature:
Mysterious Siberian crater attributed to methane

By Katia Moskvitch

Air near the bottom of the crater contained unusually high concentrations of methane — up to 9.6% — in tests conducted at the site on 16 July, says Andrei Plekhanov, an archaeologist at the Scientific Centre of Arctic Studies in Salekhard, Russia. Plekhanov, who led an expedition to the crater, says that air normally contains just 0.000179% methane.

It has the potential the become front page news on a daily basis if we've reached the dreaded "Tipping Point" where methane from hydrates start being released into the atmosphere at increasing rates creating an unstoppable feedback loop with results so disastrous they're hard to imagine.

It could even wreck human civilization as we know it.

Originally posted to Lefty Coaster on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 02:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by DK GreenRoots, Climate Hawks, and Climate Change SOS.

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