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Peat and forests save permafrost from melting
Date:9/13/2007

p>Forest cover provided more protection than shrubs or bare ground, and thick layers of peat were such effective insulators that permafrost showed only minimal decline even by 2100. On the other hand, Arain adds, disturbance of the ground cover on a local scale or fires in the boreal forest and tundra can lead to accelerated permafrost thaw. Forest fires in permafrost regions, which may become more prevalent in the future, can reduce surface organic layer, and this can affect ground thaw on both local and regional scales. Preservation of peat layer and forests may help in maintaining permafrost in northern regions.


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Contact: Jane Christmas
chrisja@mcmaster.ca
905-525-9140 x27988
McMaster University
Source:Eurekalert

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