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Climate change and the permafrost carbon feedback

April 9, 2015

Large quantities of organic carbon are stored in frozen soils (permafrost) 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. Here we find 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.

Publication Year 2015
Title Climate change and the permafrost carbon feedback
DOI 10.1038/nature14338
Authors E.A.G. Schuur, A. David McGuire, C. Schädel, G. Grosse, J. W. Harden, D.J. Hayes, G. Hugelius, C.D. Koven, P. Kuhry, D.M. Lawrence, Susan M. Natali, David Olefeldt, V.E. Romanovsky, K. Schaefer, M.R. Turetsky, Claire C. Treat, J.E. Vonk
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Nature
Index ID 70169233
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Coop Res Unit Seattle