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Permafrost soak up greenhouse gas-SciAM

PostPosted: May 27th, 2009, 8:40 pm
by wolfhnd
Permafrost Meltdown May Bog Down Global Warming

When permafrost thaws, microbes convert ancient organic matter in the frozen soil into climate-warming gases, like carbon dioxide and methane, potentially triggering a positive feedback loop that further melts the Arctic.

But the once-barren soil also spouts new—and larger—shrubs that can act as a carbon sink, and scientists have wondered what the net effect of permafrost thawing would be on atmospheric carbon balance. A new study published this week in Nature suggests that changing landscape can counterbalance the release of permafrost carbon—but only for a little while.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/artic ... al-warming