Climate Change: Arctic Lakes

When I say that my blog posts are in response to what I notice every day, I decided formally to add a new category: climate change. For most of us, I suspect “climate” on a daily basis means is it sunny or cloudy or going to rain, and do I need a jacket today when I go out.

“Climate” also means an increase in dryness in the Pacific Northwest, leading to more damaging and widespread fires that give Seattle episodes of curiously smoky air, even though the city itself is far from an actual burn. “Climate” means an increase in 100 year storms, like the one that just hit the Carolinas.

Climate change is always with us, on a daily basis, even though what gives rise to the effects of climate change may reflect much longer-standing patterns. Those patterns don’t usually create the same visible level of ruckus as our current political environment, so we overlook them. I’m committing not to do that.

Climate change is one of the things I’m going to pay attention to every day — not in the way that I notice whether it is raining or not, but in the way that I attend to things that matter. Even with the climate-change denying Trump administration, the information is out there.

Washington Post publishes an Energy 202 five day a week newsletter. The lead item on Tuesday was fascinating, and alarming.

Certain Arctic lakes that are emerging in connection with melting permafrost are emitting large quantities of methane — bubbles that come up from the muck that constitutes the lake bed and burst into the atmosphere.

“When the scientists examined samples of the gases, they found the chemical signature of a “geologic” origin. In other words, the methane venting from the lake seemed to be emerging not from the direct thawing of frozen Arctic soil, or permafrost, but rather from a reservoir of far older fossil fuels.

If that were happening all over the Arctic, Walter Anthony figured — if fossil fuels that had been buried for millennia were now being exposed to the atmosphere — the planet could be in even deeper peril.”

Here’s the WaPo article on which the Energy 202 piece is based:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/national/arctic-lakes-are-bubbling-and-hissing-with-dangerous-greenhouse-gases/?utm_term=.5d6fdbff5b97&wpisrc=nl_most&wpmm=1

I’m aware that paying attention to climate change requires action, not just information gathering. But my new level of attention is a start.

2 thoughts on “Climate Change: Arctic Lakes

  1. Hurrah. Your thoughtful attention and analysis is welcome news. Your readers ignore the topic at their own lives’ disruptions

    Linda

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