Even worse (per the study) the methane could bring global warming forward 35 years and cost the equivalent of almost a year's GDP.
These are the conclusions of the first systematic analysis of the economic cost of Arctic melting, which delivers a sobering antidote to other, more upbeat assessments that say melting in this area would improve access to minerals on the ocean bed, increase fishing and create ice-free shipping lanes.UH-Oh another prediction of doom from the people who gave us all those other global warming predictions of doom that never happened.
Previous work has estimated that more than a trillion tonnes of methane lie under the shelf, trapped inside lattices of ice known as hydrates, at depths as shallow as 20 metres. Concern about a possible eruption has grown since 2010, when research cruises over the shelf by Natalia Shakhova and Igor Semiletov, both now at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, found plumes of methane as much as a kilometre wide bubbling to the surface.
The pair calculated that a release of 50 billion tonnes would be possible within a decade, through known areas of melting and geological faults. Since methane is a greenhouse gas 25 times as potent as carbon dioxide, such a scenario would trigger a "climate catastrophe", they say, increasing the methane content of the planet's atmosphere twelve-fold, and raising temperatures by 1.3 ˚C.
Now, environmental economist Chris Hope and Arctic Ocean specialist Peter Wadhams, both at the University of Cambridge, together with climate policy analyst Gail Whiteman of Erasmus University in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, have analysed the likely consequences of such a release occurring between 2015 and 2025. They did so by adding the extra emissions to an existing model used in the UK government's 2006 Stern Review, designed to assess the economic cost of coping with climate change between now and 2200.Here's what they aren't telling as we speak; Al Gore is on top of that ice shelf with a hand drill screaming "Come on Earth Fart I got money on this thing!" Somebody better alert PETA because if this methane thing happens there are going to be millions of poor puppies being blamed for the gas. And If you don't own a dog...get one soon because these moonbats say the world is going to let go any day now.
"The global impact of a warming Arctic is an economic time bomb," says Whiteman. A release of 50 billion tonnes of methane would bring forward by 15 to 35 years the date at which global temperature rise exceeds 2 ˚C above pre-industrial levels, the model shows, with most of the damage in the poorer parts of Africa, Asia and South America. The largest costs envisaged include loss of crops to heat and drought, coping with sea level rise and worsening tropical storms.
Other than that...I wouldn't spend much time worrying about another episode of Global Warming hysteria.