Climate Change and the Permafrost Carbon Feedback

  • 9 April 2015

New research supported by CPO's AC4 program has been published in Nature. "Climate Change and the Permafrost Carbon Feedback" focuses on the large quantities of organic carbon are stored in frozen soils within arctic and sub-arctic regions.

A warming climate can induce environmental changes that accelerate the microbial breakdown of organic carbon and the release of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane. This feedback can accelerate climate change, but the magnitude and timing of greenhouse gas emission from these regions and their impact on climate change remain uncertain.

In their article, the researcher found that current evidence suggests a gradual and prolonged release of greenhouse gas emissions in a warming climate and present a research strategy with which to target poorly understood aspects of permafrost carbon dynamics.

NOAA funded a significant portion of this research through grant NA09OAR4310063.  The NOAA project played a major role in transforming knowledge of the permafrost carbon feedback from a vague concept to defined climate feedback.

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