Data published in the journal Nature suggests there may be as much as 4 billion tons of methane gas trapped beneath the ice at the South Pole.
That's about the same amount as the methane trapped beneath the fast-melting ice in the northern Arctic, which has already started to be released. Methane is a greenhouse gas that is 72 times more potent than carbon dioxide in the short term.
Scientists that model the effects of carbon on climate change "suggest it will be hell on Earth by 2100. But in calculating the rate and amount of methane and carbon released from Arctic sources,they didn't even add in the effect of accelerated warming from the permafrost releases themselves.In other words, they looked at greenhouse gas emissions from conventional sources only, despite the fact that releases from methane feedbacks are equivalent to those from fossil fuels," notes author John Atcheson, in his article, "We Are Writing an Epilogue to the World We Knew."
"So yeah, Hell is coming, but it's coming a lot faster than any predictions you've see so far from the scientific community," he says.