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Latest Permafrost Stories

Image 1 - Ancient DNA Holds Clues To Climate Change Adaptation
2012-02-01 08:49:00

Thirty-thousand-year-old bison bones discovered in permafrost at a Canadian goldmine are helping scientists unravel the mystery about how animals adapt to rapid environmental change. The bones play a key role in a world-first study, led by University of Adelaide researchers, which analyses special genetic modifications that turn genes on and off, without altering the DNA sequence itself. These 'epigenetic' changes can occur rapidly between generations — without requiring the time for...

2012-01-31 06:11:58

These researchers assert that the Arctic is already suffering some of the effects that, according to The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), correspond with a "dangerous climate change". Currently, the rate of climatic warming exceeds the rate of natural adaptation in arctic ecosystems. Furthermore, the Eskimo population is witnessing how their security, health and traditional cultural activities jeopardize. The experts demand an effort in order to develop indicators that...

2012-01-11 14:02:12

What is the lifespan of a natural gas deposit? How quickly is our planet's permafrost melting? And does life exist on other planets? Although seemingly unrelated issues, the answers to these questions are linked. And in this month's issue of EARTH Magazine, scientists show that we may be closer to answering them than we think. Ten years ago, John Eiler, a geochemist at Caltech, couldn't convince anyone to build him his dream machine. He wanted a mass spectrometer that could measure the...

Melting Permafrost Amplifies Global Warming Effect
2011-12-01 06:15:21

According to a survey published in the November 30 issue of the journal Nature, melting permafrost in the northern climes is releasing large amounts of methane and carbon, amplifying the global warming effect. When permafrost melts, long dormant microbes come alive and break down the organic matter underneath the layers of frozen soil creating methane. Methane gas has 2.5 times the effect on the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, creating a greater warming effect. The survey, led by Edward...

2011-11-07 16:20:17

From the North Pole to the Arctic Ocean, the frozen soils within this region keep an estimated 1,672 billion metric tons of carbon out of the Earth's atmosphere. This sequestered carbon is more than 250 times the amount of greenhouse gas emissions attributed to the United States in the year 2009. As global temperatures slowly rise, however, so too do concerns regarding the potential impacts upon the carbon cycle when the permafrost thaws and releases the carbon that has been trapped for eons....

2011-08-11 22:01:59

Ice and frozen ground at the North and South Poles are affected by climate change induced warming, but the consequences of thawing at each pole differ due to the geography and geology, according to a Penn State hydrologist. "The polar regions, particularly the Arctic, are warming faster than the rest of the world," Michael N. Gooseff, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, told attendees today (Aug. 11) at the 96th annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America in...

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2011-07-27 15:23:38

Scientists say a tundra fire in the circumpolar arctic released about as much carbon into the atmosphere as the tundra has stored in the previous 50 years. The study, published in the July 28 issue of Nature, of the Anaktuvuk River fire on Alaska's North Slope revealed just how quick a single tundra fire can offset or reverse a half-century worth of soil-stored carbon. "Fire has been largely absent from tundra for the past 11,000 or so years, but the frequency of tundra fires is increasing,...

2011-05-06 13:48:50

A much reduced covering of snow, shorter winter season and thawing tundra. The effects of climate change in the Arctic are already here. And the changes are taking place significantly faster than previously thought. This is what emerges from a new research report on the Arctic, presented in Copenhagen this week. Margareta Johansson, from Lund University, is one of the researchers behind the report. Together with Terry Callaghan, a researcher at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Margareta...

2011-04-18 14:30:30

International studies describe current state of the Arctic coasts The coastline in Arctic regions reacts to climate change with increased erosion and retreats by half a meter per year on average. This means substantial changes for Arctic ecosystems near the coast and the population living there. A consortium of more than thirty scientists from ten countries, including researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association and from the...

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2011-02-17 12:00:00

Scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Colorado estimate that if global warming continues even at a moderate pace, a third of the earth's permafrost will be gone by 2200. A study released Wednesday, based on UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scenarios, warns that global warming could cause up to 60 percent of the world's permafrost to thaw by 2200 releasing huge amounts of carbon into the atmosphere increasing the rate of climate change, AFP is...


Word of the Day
omphalos
  • The navel or umbilicus.
  • In Greek archaeology: A central boss, as on a shield, a bowl, etc.
  • A sacred stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, believed by the Greeks to mark the 'navel' or exact center-point of the earth.
'Omphalos' comes from the ancient Greek.
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