2016-10-17. Map Reveals Hot Spots for Arctic Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

posted Oct 25, 2016, 3:43 PM by Alan Gould

By JoAnna Wendel, Earth & Space news, EoS, AGU. For GSS Climate Change chapter 3. Excerpt: Across the Arctic tundra in summer, vast lakes and wetlands curve across the landscape, painting lazy swirls of blue against brilliant greens of moss, shrubs, and lichens. Within this landscape of hummocks and hollows looms a threat scientists have yet to fully quantify: Huge amounts of carbon, locked into frozen soil for hundreds to thousands of years, are now escaping from the thawing soil and becoming greenhouse gases. ...Soil is full of organic matter in various stages of decay. As this organic matter decays, greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane get released into the atmosphere. However, perpetually frozen soils, called permafrost, prevent organic matter from decaying, which traps carbon. Scientists estimate that permafrost locks up 1400 gigatons of carbon—more than twice the amount currently in the atmosphere—and suspect that warming in the Arctic will continue to thaw much of the soil, allowing organic matter to decompose and release greenhouse gases....  https://eos.org/articles/map-reveals-hot-spots-for-arctic-greenhouse-gas-emissions