Navigation Links
Thawing permafrost likely to boost global warming
Date:8/31/2008

The thawing of permafrost in northern latitudes, which greatly increases microbial decomposition of carbon compounds in soil, will dominate other effects of warming in the region and could become a major force promoting the release of carbon dioxide and thus further warming, according to a new assessment in the September 2008 issue of BioScience. The study, by Edward A. G. Schuur of the University of Florida and an international team of coauthors, more than doubles previous estimates of the amount of carbon stored in the permafrost: the new figure is equivalent to twice the total amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide. The authors conclude that releases of the gas from melting permafrost could amount to roughly half those resulting from global land-use change during this century.

Schuur and his colleagues refine earlier assessments by considering complex processes that mix soil from different depths during melting and freezing of permafrost, which occur to some degree every year. They judge that over millennia, soil processes have buried and frozen over a trillion metric tons of organic compounds in the world's vast permafrost regions. The relatively rapid warming now under way is bringing the organic material back into the ecosystem, in part by turning over soil. Some effects of permafrost thawing can be seen in Alaska and Siberia as dramatic subsidence features called thermokarsts.

Schuur and his colleagues acknowledge many difficulties in estimating carbon dioxide emissions from permafrost regions, which hold more carbon in the Arctic and boreal regions of the Northern Hemisphere than in the Southern Hemisphere. Data are limited, and emissions are influenced by the amount of surface water, topography, wildfires, snow cover, and other factors. Thawing, although believed to be critical, is hard to model accurately.

Some warming-related trends in Arctic regions, such as the encroachment of trees into tundra, may cause absorption of carbon dioxide and thus partly counter the effects of thawing permafrost. But Schuur and colleagues' new assessment indicates that thawing is likely to dominate known countervailing trends.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jennifer Williams
jwilliams@aibs.org
202-628-1500
American Institute of Biological Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Peat and forests save permafrost from melting
2. Extinction most likely for rare trees in the Amazon rainforest
3. Likely cause of postpartum blues and depression identified
4. Stem cell chicken and egg debate moves to unlikely arena: the testes
5. Revolutionary chefs? Not likely, shows physics research
6. U of M research finds teens who have TV in their bedroom are less likely to engage in healthy habits
7. Baby boys are more likely to die than baby girls
8. Unfavorable ocean conditions likely cause of low 2007 salmon returns along West Coast
9. New study shows low-fat diets more likely to reduce risk of heart disease than low-carb diets
10. Coral reefs unlikely to survive in acid oceans
11. Journal Sleep: Insomniacs are more likely to report a family history of the sleep disorder
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/19/2016)... , UAE, April 20, 2016 ... implemented as a compact web-based "all-in-one" system solution for ... biometric fingerprint reader or the door interface with integration ... modern access control systems. The minimal dimensions of the ... readers into the building installations offer considerable freedom of ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... -- IMPOWER physicians supporting Medicaid patients in Central ... in telehealth thanks to a new partnership with higi. ... patients can routinely track key health measurements, such as ... when they opt in, share them with IMPOWER clinicians ... retail location at no cost. By leveraging this data, ...
(Date:3/23/2016)... Massachusetts , March 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... im Interesse erhöhter Sicherheit Gesichts- und Stimmerkennung ... Xura, Inc. (NASDAQ: MESG ), ... bekannt, dass das Unternehmen mit SpeechPro zusammenarbeitet, ... aus der Finanzdienstleistungsbranche, wird die Möglichkeit angeboten, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... May 23, 2016 , ... ... public interest organization focused on molecular nanotechnology, announced the winners for the 2015 ... pioneer physicist Richard Feynman, are given in two categories, one for experiment and ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... , ... May 20, 2016 , ... The leading Regenerative ... its most experienced veterinary clients have treated over 100 of their own patients with ... to provide the highest level of care for their patients. , The veterinarians ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... ... ... Korean researchers say Manumycin A triggers apoptosis, or natural cell death, in malignant ... Surviving Mesothelioma has just posted an article on the new study. Click here ... study on the fact the Manumycin A, a derivative of Streptomyces parvulus, is known ...
(Date:5/19/2016)... ... May 19, 2016 , ... Anton Paar USA, located ... foot office building is complete. The new structure adds a third office building to ... Paar USA purchased 2.4 acres of land, along with office space adjacent to ...
Breaking Biology Technology: