UN: Thawing permafrost to cause increased warming

Associated Press
Qatar's deputy Prime minister Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah speaks at the opening session of the United Nations Climate Change conference in Doha, Qatar, Monday, Nov. 26, 2012. U.N. talks on a new climate pact resumed Monday in oil and gas-rich Qatar, where negotiators from nearly 200 countries will discuss fighting global warming and helping poor nations adapt to it. The two-decade-old talks have not fulfilled their main purpose: reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that scientists say are warming the planet. (AP Photo/Osama Faisal)
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DOHA, Qatar (AP) — The United Nations is warning that a thawing in the permafrost that covers almost a quarter of the northern hemisphere could "significantly amplify global warming."

The warning came in a U.N. report released as climate talks intensified on Tuesday in Qatar.

The report says the dangers of carbon dioxide and methane emissions from warming permafrost are becoming an emerging issue among climate scientists. These dangers have so far not been factored in projections about future temperature rises.

Representatives from over 200 countries are negotiating a climate deal in Doha that would keep global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees C (3.6 F) — compared to preindustrial times — by 2100.

The World Bank has projected temperatures to increase by up to 4 degrees C (7.2 F) by then.

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