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Grab The Beano! This Planet’s Got Gas.

Grab The Beano! This Planet’s Got Gas.

It’s an awkward, yet necessary human function that happens to the best of us at the worst of times: flatulence.

Whether released in the privacy of your bathroom, or presented with gusto in a room full of your closest friends, there’s no denying that the human digestive system and our not-so-healthy diets combine forces to make us one gassy species. 

If you think human flatulence stinks, however, this news is really going to wrinkle your nose.

Up until recently, our planet has kept its gas to itself, locked safely away in Arctic permafrost, the thick layer of soil just beneath the surface that remains frozen year round. Because Earth’s temperature has been steadily increasing over the past few decades, however, the frozen ground is melting, and the concentrated gas is bubbling to the surface in alarming amounts.

The gas now exploding through the Arctic shelf is methane that was originally deposited there through decomposition of organic matter in ancient wetlands.

Methane is 25 times as potent a heat-trapping gas as CO2 over a 100 year time horizon, but 72 times as potent over 20 years (Climate Progress).

If a significant amount of this formerly-frozen methane is released into the atmosphere, it could put in motion a positive feedback loop in which warming releases methane, causing further warming, which liberates even more of the gas.

In a recent press release, the National Science Foundation press release warned that “release of even a fraction of the methane stored in the shelf could trigger abrupt climate warming.”

But the planet’s gassy problems don’t end with underground methane bubbles.

According to a new study published in the journal Nature Geoscience, thawing permafrost in eastern Greenland may be emitting large amounts of nitrous oxide, a dangerous greenhouse gas better known under it’s cuddly stage name — “laughing gas.”

The smile will probably fade from your face when you realize that nitrous oxide ranks as the third-most significant greenhouse gas generated by human activities, behind carbon dioxide and methane (see above!).

According to the EPA, nitrous oxide is about 310 times more effective in trapping heat in the atmosphere than CO2 over a 100-year period.

The study suggests that nitrous oxide released by warming permafrost, which lies under roughly a quarter of the land in the Northern Hemisphere, could be a bigger contributor to climate change than previously thought.

Now, if you had a friend suffering from this kind of gas, you’d probably offer them a natural enzyme supplement or point them in the direction of your finest leafy green.

Unfortunately, the planet can’t reach for an over-the-counter remedy. We are the only ones who can bring it any relief, and it’s important that we act quickly.

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Image Credit: Zina Deretsky, National Science Foundation

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55 comments

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11:53PM PDT on Oct 30, 2013

Thank you for info.

11:52PM PDT on Oct 30, 2013

Thank you for info.

11:51PM PDT on Oct 30, 2013

Thank you for info.

11:50PM PDT on Oct 30, 2013

Thank you for info.

11:49PM PDT on Oct 30, 2013

Thank you for info.

11:49PM PDT on Oct 30, 2013

Thank you for info.

8:59AM PST on Dec 4, 2010

Some new information/knowledge.

2:24AM PDT on Jun 29, 2010

Thanks

1:05AM PDT on May 14, 2010

Linda M... It sure does not look like DoctorV and Heinz are attempting to "convert" anyone to deniers of climate change. It is, on the other hand obvious that they are attempting to wake up the masses to the blatant criminal behavior taking place all around us while people are more concerned with their petty petitions to put solar power in the White House and the like... sure, a great idea and the more solar the better. The less fossil fuel the better. But what good is any of that if we all end up dead due to HAARP and the spraying of the masses with viruses and metal particulates and who knows what else... Yes, the people should question the status quo. Always question what is being pushed by the mainstream media. After all, it is all owned by the same ones that have been leading down the path of lies and deceptions for generations.
Check out the Bonfire Coalitions website:
http://agriculturedefensecoalition.org/?q=welcome_bonnefire
And go to that CaliforniaSkyWatch.com site
No, no one is denying climate change, simply pulling the wool off our eyes. You should too...
Codex Video With Dr. Labow
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5266884912495233634#

Be Happy

8:48AM PDT on Apr 23, 2010

Informative article.It`s aprreciated...thanks.

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Beth Buczynski Beth is a freelance writer and editor living in the Rocky Mountain West. So far, Beth has lived in... more
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