NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


January 9, 2006

In the past year, many environmental activists and left-leaning media groups have made claims stating that the global climate change is causing significant warming of the Siberian permafrost and resulting in a large-scale release of potent methane gas, but truth be known: those claims are false, says the Heartland Institute's James Taylor.

According to researchers:

  • The annual temperature of soils (with seasonal variations) has been remaining stable; if anything, the depth of seasonal melting has decreased slightly.
  • The ecological structure of Siberia is balanced and is not about to harm people with gas discharges.
  • The "melting" permafrost is not causing the formation of small lakes in Siberia; they actually result from irregularities when laying oil and gas pipes and other engineering systems.
  • At the same time, the permafrost is several hundred meters deep and for methane, other gases and hydrates to escape to the surface it would have to melt at tremendous depths, which is virtually impossible.

Unfortunately, as long as governments hand out billions of dollars each year for climate research, there is no incentive to report the truth, says Taylor; the only sure way to keep receiving climate research funding is to keep claiming impending climate catastrophe.

Source: James M. Taylor, "Russians Debunk Permafrost Scam," Environment and Climate News: Heartland Institute, November 2005.


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