Over the past few months, Arctic reporting stations have been reporting an unexpected increase in the outgassing of methane from thawing permafrost. Methane is an extremely potent greenhouse gas. In the past, the sudden release of methane from arctic tundras and methane hydrates under the Arctic Ocean have been connected to the spikes in heat that mark the end of interglacials. Methane readings from the station in Alert, Canada, are showing an increase in methane of 20 parts per billion over one year, an increase of 2-3 times over the global average from the past five years, and readings from Barrow (Alaska), Summit (Greenland), and Svalbard (Norway) all show similar trends.
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