Permafrost and Methane By: Alyssa Robles

Greenhouse Effect?

Is when the atmosphere of Earth for example traps radiation exiting from the sun caused by gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, and water vapor that all allow incoming sunlight to pass through but keeps heat diffused from the planets exterior.

Greenhouse Gases

The three main gases are carbon dioxide, water vapor, and methane, when touched by the infrared photons, they react by reflecting the photons and shaking as the photons touch the gas. Greenhouse gases are gases in an atmosphere that takes in and emits radiation within the thermal infrared range.

Carbon dioxide, Water vapor, Methane


Permafrost and Methane Background

Permafrost is frozen soil that occurs mainly in super high latitudes caused by the condition of the air mainly in places with an average of 32° Fahrenheit. Permafrost comprises 24% of the land in the Northern Hemisphere, and stores massive amounts of carbon according to the weather company.

Methane is the a component of natural gas, a common fuel source. Methane can come from many sources, both natural and manmade. The largest source of industrial emissions is the oil and gas industry.

Feedback System

As permafrost thaws, this carbon is released to the atmosphere in the form of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. This process leads to more climate change and is an example of a positive feedback, which happens when warming causes changes that lead to even more warming.As a result of climate change, permafrost is at risk of melting, releasing the stored carbon in the form of carbon dioxide and methane, which are powerful heat-trapping gases. In addition, permafrost is structurally important, and its melting has been known to cause erosion, disappearance of lakes, landslides, and ground subsidence.


In Siberia and Alaska permafrost started to thaw for the first time since it formed 11,000 years ago, marked in dark blue on the map. It is caused by the recent 3+°C rise in local temperature over the past 40 years - more than four times the global average. It is estimated that the west Siberian bog alone contains some 70 billion tonnes of methane, a quarter of all the methane stored on the land surface of the world. This is equivalent to emitting 1.7 trillion tons of CO2, which is more greenhouse gas than has been emitted by humans in the past 200 years. There is potential to release vast quantities of methane trapped by ice below the surface - billions of tonnes of methane. These facts have been stated by scientist John James.

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