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Latest Permafrost Stories

Defrosting Permafrost Could Add To Climate Woes
2012-10-30 09:14:35

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online As global warming extends its balmy fingers further into the Arctic regions, defrosting permafrost could release up to 44 billion tons of nitrogen and 850 tons of carbon into the atmosphere, according to a new study from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The doubling of atmospheric carbon that would result from such an unprecedented thaw figures to impact ecosystems, the atmosphere, the Earth´s lakes and rivers, the researchers...

Canada's Vast Mackenzie River Basin Has Major World Interests At Stake
2012-09-04 07:41:11

Watershed covers roughly 20 percent of Canada, including oil sands; The Mackenzie may discharge more water into the Arctic than the St. Lawrence into the Atlantic The governance of Canada's massive Mackenzie River Basin holds enormous national but also global importance due to the watershed's impact on the Arctic Ocean, international migratory birds and climate stability, say experts convening a special forum on the topic. "Relevant parties in western Canada have recognized the need for...

Methane Reservoir Beneath Antarctic Ice Sheet
2012-08-30 08:32:12

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A recent study of the Antarctic Ice Sheet suggests that it could be a largely overlooked source of the potent greenhouse gas methane. An international team of scientists from the University of Bristol, the University of California, Santa Cruz, the University of Alberta, Edmonton, and the University of Utrecht, demonstrate that old organic matter in sedimentary basins located beneath the Antarctic Ice Sheet may have been converted to...

2012-06-18 23:33:20

The ancient reserves of methane gas seeping from the melting Arctic ice cap told Jeff Chanton and fellow researchers what they already knew: As the permafrost thaws, there is a release of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that causes climate warming. The trick was figuring out how much, said Chanton, the John W. Winchester Professor of Oceanography at Florida State University. The four-member team – whose findings were published in the respected journal Nature Geoscience –...

Thawing Arctic Cryosphere Releases Trapped Methane
2012-05-22 09:10:29

Brett Smith for RedOrbit.com The edges of glaciers and Arctic permafrost are where most of the evidence of global warming can be seen, but scientists have recently been traveling to these remote locations for a different reason. Researchers from the University of Alaska at Fairbanks just published a study in the online edition of Nature Geoscience showing that methane trapped under arctic lake ice for millions of years is now being released by the melting ice. The team used both aerial...

2012-04-24 22:27:28

Permafrost zones extend over 50% of Canada's land area. Warming or thawing of permafrost due to climate change could significantly impact existing infrastructure and future development in Canada's north. Researchers Jennifer Throop and Antoni Lewkowicz at the University of Ottawa, along with Sharon Smith with the Geological Survey of Canada, have published a new study, part of an upcoming special issue of the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences (CJES), that provides one of the first summaries...

State Of The Planet
2012-03-28 04:40:05

Scientists describe humanity's global impact as 'The Great Acceleration' and offer ominous outlook: An uncertain future on a much hotter world Time is running out to minimize the risk of setting in motion irreversible and long-term climate change and other dramatic changes to Earth's life support system, according to scientists speaking at the Planet Under Pressure conference, which began in London on Monday. The unequivocal warning was delivered on the first day of the four-day...

2012-03-28 03:29:34

Satellite are seeing changes in land surfaces in high detail at northern latitudes, indicating thawing permafrost. This releases greenhouse gases into parts of the Arctic, exacerbating the effects of climate change. Permafrost is ground that remains at or below 0°C for at least two consecutive years and usually appears in areas at high latitudes such as Alaska, Siberia and Northern Scandinavia, or at high altitudes like the Andes, Himalayas and the Alps. About half of the...

First-ever Use Of Airborne Resistivity System In Antarctica Allows Researchers To Look Beneath Surface In Untapped Territories
2012-03-24 03:01:55

NSF partners with international team to gather new information on hidden environments and past climate conditions in Antarctica National Science Foundation- (NSF) funded researchers have successfully tested equipment to map the hidden distribution of groundwater and ice in the McMurdo Dry Valleys region for the first time in Antarctica. The mapping technique, an airborne electrical resistivity instrument, will enable researchers to study microbial ecosystems in sub-glacial environments....

Image 1 - Unexpected Crustacean Diversity In Northern Freshwater Ecosystems
2012-03-04 06:16:02

A new species adds to evidence that subarctic regions with vanishing waters contain unique aquatic animals Freshwater ecosystems in northern regions are home to significantly more species of water fleas than traditionally thought, adding to evidence that regions with vanishing waters contain unique animal life. The new information on water fleas -- which are actually tiny crustaceans -- comes from a multi-year, international study that was published Feb. 24 in the journal Zootaxa....