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Tom Bowman's Climate Report delves into Arctic methane controversy

August 5, 2013 Signal Hill, CA Tom Bowman, climate science communications expert and host of the Climate Report with Tom Bowman, interviews economist Chris Hope and oceanographer Peter Wadhams, two of the three authors of an article in the journal Nature that has stirred scientific controversy since its release on July 24, 2013. The authors modeled the economic impact of a single phenomenon of global warming in the Arctic the release of methane from thawing permafrost beneath the East Siberian Sea and concluded that it "comes with an average global price tag of $60 trillion."

The podcast of the interview reveals the methods and assumptions behind the analysis, and discusses the results of several other methane release scenarios that the authors also modeled. During the interview, Hope and Wadhams stress that the impacts of Arctic warming will be felt throughout the world.

The nature of the methane release from permafrost on the seafloor has been the source of recent controversy. On the podcast, Hope and Wadhams rebut the claim that they have overstated the effects of Arctic methane release, saying that their models predict an even higher financial impact from a slower release of methane.

Bowman says that the crux of the discussion revolves around the difficulty in assessing climate risks involving very severe global consequences. "This debate stretches the boundaries of what must be considered in gauging the risks of climate change," says Bowman.

The interview can be heard in its entirety at


Contact: Tom Bowman
Bowman Global Change

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