Durban alarmism: permafrost – again

It's all over, pal

Funny, isn’t it, that when a stack of emails is released just before a climate conference, revealing climate scientists behaving badly, it’s regarded as malicious, whereas those very same climate scientists are perfectly happy to release alarmist research in an attempt to bolster that very same climate conference. Oops, I forgot for a minute – this is the mainstream media, where double standards are simply par for the course.

Today’s dose of alarmism, courtesy of the Sydney Morning Herald (currently battling it out with the ABC for top spot in the climate hysteria stakes):

The threat to climate change posed by thawing permafrost, which could release stocks of stored carbon, is greater than estimated, a group of scientists say.

By 2100, the amount of carbon released by permafrost loss could be “1.7-5.2 times larger than those reported”, depending on how swiftly Earth’s surface warms, they said.

In volume terms, this is about the same as the amount of greenhouse gases released today from deforestation, they say.

But the impact on climate could be 2.5 times greater, as much of the gas will be methane, which is 25 times more efficient at trapping solar heat than carbon dioxide (CO2), they say.

Deforestation today accounts for up to 20 per cent of total greenhouse-gas emissions that contribute to global warming.

The study, published in the British journal Nature, coincides with a 12-day UN conference on climate change, unfolding in Durban, South Africa.

It touches on one of the biggest sources of concern, but also a major area of uncertainty, in climate science.

Permanently iced land covers around a quarter of the land in the northern hemisphere.

In essence, it is a carbon store, holding in icy stasis the organic remains of plants and animals that died millions of years ago.

The worry is that as temperatures rise, the soils defrost, microbes decompose the ancient carbon and release methane and CO2 to the atmosphere. (source)

This is obviously a dumb question, but why didn’t this happen in any of the recent phases of the climate that were warmer than today? And if it did, well, we’re still here aren’t we? That’s the obvious logical flaw in all of these tipping point arguments – if the planet is balanced so precariously on a knife edge, fearful of even the tiniest nudge, how come the climate system hasn’t toppled over and spiralled towards either permanent snowball or permanent hot-house in the last few million years, from which recovery was impossible? Answers on a postcard (from Durban).


  1. Any chance that these ‘climate scientists’ might learn some simple physics and thermodynamics before spouting this nonsense? It is now fairly well established that ‘climate science’ is a sub branch of political science.

    The real scientists studying this field are Physicists, Astrophysicists, Geologists etc. who have degrees in the hard sciences. Do any real Universities offer degree courses in ‘climate science’? The only ones worth paying attention to, are those independent of government funding.

    • gyptis444 says:

      ‘Political science’ aint real science. It might be a mix of ‘social science’ and psychology but real science it is not.

  2. In order to answer any question relating to climate issues you need one important ingredient … money. No scientist worth his or her respective salt is going to answer that without being paid.

  3. Ah the magazine “Nature” of course

  4. Russians are ready to go 1km deep into Arctic’s waters, to get some gas. If is good amount of methane in the permafrost; it’s easier to get it, than from the bottom of the ocean. Keep the fear alive…

    There is a page on methane on my website; if you read it, it will knock your socks off. It is most essential; to produce as much as possible more new methane. Burning methane is worse than burning coal – they are back to front on everything. Everything I say, I can prove it now; not in 100y trick.

    From the conference; in few buses, they should have being all taken direct to jail

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