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The melting of arctic permephrosis will contribute $ 70 billion to climate costs, notes the study


Most of the economic burden is most likely worn by poorer countries, which increases global inequality

The release of methane and carbon dioxide due to defrosting permafrost will accelerate global warming and contribute up to $ 70 billion to the global climate bill, according to the most advanced study on the economic consequences of Arctic melting.

photo of thawed ice
In the Arctic is melted frozen soil, known as permafrost. Scientists say that the carbon they emit for defrosting permafrost will accelerate global warming by 5 percent. Photo by Boris Radosavljevic.

If countries fail to improve their obligations under the Paris Agreement, this feedback mechanism, together with the loss of white ice that reflects heat, has led to an almost 5% increase in global warming and associated costs, says the newspaper, which was published on Tuesday in Nature Communications.

The authors say that their study is the first to calculate the economic impact of permafrost melting and reduced albedo – a measure of how much light that strikes the surface reflects without being absorbed – based on state-of-the-art computer models of what is likely to happen in the Arctic when temperatures rise. It shows how destabilized natural systems will exacerbate the problem caused by human emissions, making it more difficult and more costly to solve.

The estimated reserves of frozen organic matter in the soil were estimated at a depth of 3 meters at several points in the Arctic. These took place through the most advanced global simulation software in the United States and the UK Met Office to predict how much gas will be released at different levels of warming. Even in supercomputers, the number of cases lasted several weeks, as the great geography and complex climate interactions of the Arctic caused multiple variables. The researchers then used previous models of economic impacts to estimate the likely costs.

The main issue is the smelting of permafrosts. Greenhouse gases that are released when organic substances that have been frozen underground for centuries are thawing and rotten, have already begun to escape at the current level of 1 degrees Celsius due to global warming. So far, the effect is small. Ten gigatons of carbon have been released from permafrost, but this emission source will increase rapidly when temperatures rise above 1.5C.

On the current path of at least 3C warming up to the end of the century, smelting of permafrost is expected to drop to 280 gigons of carbon dioxide and 3 gigatone methane, which has a climatic effect that is 10 to 20 times stronger than CO2.

This would increase global climate effects by $ 70 trillion from now to 2300. This is 10 times higher than the expected benefits of arcing the Arctic, such as easier navigation for ships and access to minerals, a real newspaper.

This would also contribute to global inequality, since most of the economic burden equivalent to almost the entire world's current GDP is likely to be borne by countries in warmer and poorer regions, such as India and Africa, which are most exposed to temperature rise.

"It's surprising that we have this in front of us," said Dmitry Yumashev of Lancaster University. "Even at 1.5 ° C to 2 ° C there are effects and costs of defrosting permafrost. However, these scenarios are much lower than usual. We have technological and political instruments to limit warming, but we do not move fast enough. "

New projections contained some good news, because the effect of melt melt on permanent ice was on a lower range of fears. Previous estimates have shown that these points in the Arctic could exceed the climate cost by more than 10 percent. Some feared that methane could prove catastrophic, but new data suggest that CO2 remains the biggest concern.

"We still have a time bomb, but it may not be as big as we thought it earlier," Yumashev said. However, he warned of complacency, as even at the lowest level of damage is large, the study has a considerable degree of uncertainty, and the costs of some other potential breakpoints have not yet been calculated.

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