Arctic Ice Melt Could Trigger 'Economic Timebomb'
"Rapid thawing of the Arctic could trigger a catastrophic 'economic timebomb' which would cost trillions of dollars and undermine the global financial system, say a group of economists and polar scientists."
"Governments and industry have expected the widespread warming of the Arctic region in the past 20 years to be an economic boon, allowing the exploitation of new gas and oilfields and enabling shipping to travel faster between Europe and Asia," notes John Vidal. "But the release of a single giant 'pulse' of methane from thawing Arctic permafrost beneath the East Siberian sea 'could come with a $60tn [£39tn] global price tag', according to the researchers who have for the first time quantified the effects on the global economy."
"Even the slow emission of a much smaller proportion of the vast quantities of methane locked up in the Arctic permafrost and offshore waters could trigger catastrophic climate change and 'steep' economic losses, they say."