Greenhouse gas emissions from permafrost will be slower than expected

By on April 16, 2015

An international team of scientists formed the Permafrost Carbon Network to help gather and share information about greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. (Credit: Robert Rozbora / Fotolia)


Greenhouse gas emissions from permafrost may not occur in a single, large gas emission as previously thought, but rather in a much lower, gradual emission of greenhouse gas over a much longer period of time, according to a release from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

Scientists say this may give humans more time to adapt to the increasing levels of carbon in the atmosphere, potentially lessening its negative impact. Arctic and sub-Arctic permafrost stores twice the amount of carbon currently in the atmosphere.

An international team of scientists formed the Permafrost Carbon Network to gather data on permafrost carbon capacity and temperature change, ultimately arriving at the gradual emission conclusion. The assembly of data by the team makes it possible for climate scientists to add carbon release from permafrost to ever-evolving computer models of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

The team is hopeful that they will be able to provide climate modelers with more and better data to continually improve climate change modeling efforts. They recommend adding real-time methane and carbon emission monitoring networks to permafrost areas.

Top image: An international team of scientists formed the Permafrost Carbon Network to help gather and share information about greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. (Credit: Robert Rozbora / Fotolia)

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