30 Dec '12, 3pm

A new field study determines thawing permafrost could double Earth's atmospheric #carbon. #eco

A new field study determines thawing permafrost could double Earth's atmospheric #carbon. #eco

Newsbrief from Environmental Building News Thawing Permafrost Could Double Earth’s Atmospheric Carbon Climate change could cause melting permafrost to double Earth's atmospheric carbon. In this photo, a road has damaged the insulating top layer of permafrost, allowing the layers below to melt and sink. By Erin Weaver Thawing of Arctic permafrost could double Earth’s atmospheric carbon in the next century, according to a new field study in Geophysical Research Letters . Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey studied permafrost soils vulnerable to thawing and subsequent decomposition in a warming climate; they estimate the soils could release up to 850 billion tons of carbon and 44 billion tons of nitrogen, along with some methane. In addition to disrupting aquatic ecosystems, this would contribute to further warming in what could become a runaway process. The scientists...

Full article: http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2012/11/29/...

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