The word prudent does not seem to be present in the vocabularies of our leaders.
(Can we save humanity from the greatest threat ever? Must-watch video highlights the risks and uncertainties of catastrophic methane release from the Arctic environment.)
After millions of years of ice ages, the Arctic has become a vast repository of fossil carbon.
Over the millennia, layer after layer of carbon-based biological material has been locked away in the frozen soil of the Arctic tundras and sea beds. Some of these stores have simply become entombed within the ice. Others, already turned to methane through the slow fluxes of time, underlay the frozen ground and the chilly Arctic sea-bed floor as a kind of fire ice.
An unstable, flammable, and explosive substance called clathrate.
The stores themselves are massive — containing between 2,000 to 3,000 billion tons or more of carbon. Likely more than five times the amount of carbon humans have already emitted into the atmosphere over the past 150 years…
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