I never really thought of it before, but what does happen to all the prehistoric droppings left behind by Arctic animals of yore? Apparently it was out of sight out of mind for the last couple millennia, as mammoth pies were frozen in suspended animation, that is, until global warming kicked in and started melting all the permafrost.
Now that dirty secret is making its way back to the surface faster than scientists can say weapons of mass destruction -- and rightly so, according to this article. Scientists fear that once the organic matter is exposed to air it will begin to emit carbon dioxide, and worse, methane gas, both of which could potentially accelerate global warming to a rate that cannot be stopped.
The stretch of permafrost holding so-called mammoth-era "soil" covers an area about the size of France and Germany combined. That’s a lot of dung!
- Ocean Roundup: Chevron Withdraws Drilling Plans from the Arctic, Peru Issues Ban on Shrimp Fishing, and More Posted Fri, December 19, 2014
- Ocean Roundup: Humpback Whales Communicate to Feed at Night, Bangladesh Oil Spill Threatening Sundarbans Mangroves, and More Posted Wed, December 17, 2014
- Holiday Creature Feature: Christmas Tree Worm and Candy Cane Shrimp Posted Fri, December 19, 2014
- Ocean Roundup: Filefish Use Chemical Scent to Camouflage, Bangladesh Oil Spill Threatening Endangered Dolphins, and More Posted Mon, December 15, 2014
- Act: GrubHub, Take Shark Fin Off the Menu! Posted Wed, December 17, 2014