US and Canadian scientists in northwestern Canada have found alarming signs of permafrost melt in the form of “seeps,” which are leaking pure methane gas from the floorbed of Arctic lakes.
With permafrost, or frozen tundra soil, covering almost one fifth of the Earth’s surface and containing massive stores of embedded carbon, permafrost expert Canadian Chris Burn has stated, “If we lost just 1 percent of the carbon in permafrost today, we'd be close to a year's contributions from industrial sources.”
The researchers’ concern is amplified since it has been found that the Arctic region is warming many times faster than the rest of the world. Thus, these ancient deposits could quickly decompose, releasing carbon dioxide, along with the more powerfully warming gas methane. We are grateful for the dedication of the US and Canadian scientists whose studies in these remote regions show just how rapidly the Arctic is changing. May this eye-opening research lead to our own swift actions to stabilize our climate.
In the following excerpt from a June 2008 videoconference with our Association members in England, Supreme Master Ching Hai addresses the tolls of the meat industry in affecting the melting permafrost.
Supreme Master Ching Hai:
The permafrost layer is melting each day. And the methane gas, or other gases even, are releasing into the atmosphere. Methane and nitrous oxide is made by stock raising, stock keeping, animals keeping. They are far more poisonous, far more dangerous than CO2. So the effect is immense. Because the methane gas,
it has been trapped all these centuries, because of stockbreeding, into the lakes, into the permafrost, into the ocean, and now if it’s melting then the gas will be released also.
On top of that, if we have daily more animal breeding, more methane gas, then we will never stop. So just stop killing animals, stop raising animals anymore. And we don’t produce anymore methane gas, then it is a perfect picture.