Thawing permafrost has turned the Arctic into a carbon emitter

Environment 21 October 2019 By Adam Vaughan The Arctic permafrost is meltingNational Geographic Image Collection / Alamy Stock PhotoThe Arctic has begun releasing more carbon than it is absorbing. The change is a result of climate change thawing frozen ground, and the problem is expected to get much worse as the world warms further. Previously…



Environment



21 October 2019

By Adam Vaughan

Arctic permafrost

The Arctic permafrost is melting

National Geographic Image Collection / Alamy Stock Photo

The Arctic has begun releasing more carbon than it is absorbing. The change is a result of climate change thawing frozen ground, and the problem is expected to get much worse as the world warms further.

Previously it appeared some sites in the Arctic had already flipped from being carbon sinks into sources of emissions, but research now shows the phenomenon has happened across the region as a whole.

Vegetation growth in the far north absorbs carbon dioxide across summer, and we had thought that negligible amounts …

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