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Permafrost Carbon Release Will Be Gradual Says Study

12.04.2015 08:50 Age: 3 yrs

Scientists predict gradual, prolonged permafrost greenhouse gas emissions. Permafrost carbon is likely to be released in a gradual and prolonged manner, and the rate of release through 2100 is likely to be of the same order as the current rate of tropical deforestation in terms of its effects on the carbon cycle

Click to enlarge. David McGuire: assembled an international team. Courtesy: UAF


From the University of Alaska Fairbanks

Twice the carbon


Large quantities of organic carbon are stored in frozen soils (permafrost) within Arctic and sub-Arctic regions. A warming climate can induce environmental changes that accelerate the microbial breakdown of organic carbon and the release of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane. This feedback can accelerate climate change, but the magnitude and timing of greenhouse gas emission from these regions and their impact on climate change remain uncertain. Here we find that current evidence suggests a gradual and prolonged release of greenhouse gas emissions in a warming climate and present a research strategy with which to target poorly understood aspects of permafrost carbon dynamics.


Read the abstract and get the paper here.


University of Alaska Fairbanks news release here.