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Latest Permafrost Stories

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2010-02-17 08:30:00

The southern limit of permanently frozen ground, or permafrost, is now 130 kilometers further north than it was 50 years ago in the James Bay region, according to two researchers from the Department of Biology at Universit© Laval. In a recent issue of the scientific journal Permafrost and Periglacial Processes, Serge Payette and Simon Thibault suggest that, if the trend continues, permafrost in the region will completely disappear in the near future. The researchers measured the retreat...

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2010-01-11 09:30:33

The increase in temperature in the Arctic has already caused the sea-ice there to melt. According to research conducted by the University of Gothenburg, if the Arctic tundra also melts, vast amounts of organic material will be carried by the rivers straight into the Arctic Ocean, resulting in additional emissions of carbon dioxide. Several Russian rivers enter the Arctic Ocean particularly in the Laptev Sea north of Siberia. One of the main rivers flowing into the Laptev Sea is the Lena,...

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2009-10-15 07:38:56

New study shows that Arctic has potential to alter Earth's climate In a new study in the journal Ecological Monographs, ecologists estimate that Arctic lands and oceans are responsible for up to 25 percent of the global net sink of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Under current predictions of global warming, this Arctic sink could be diminished or reversed, potentially accelerating predicted rates of climate change. In their review paper, David McGuire of the U.S. Geological Survey and the...

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2009-08-31 10:35:00

Researchers are warning of a slow seepage of methane gas from under the Arctic permafrost, which could be very dangerous to the Earth's future climate. "On a calm day, you can see 20 or more 'seeps' out across this lake," Canadian researcher Rob Bowen told the Associated Press from his boat on the Mackenzie River Delta. Bowen said it is essentially pure methane bubbling up from the surface, which spells trouble for the earth's climate, experts say. Temperatures in the Arctic have increased by...

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2009-08-05 15:20:00

Researchers conduct fieldwork to track permafrost melting in Alaska and gain insight about the release of carbon into the atmosphereThe terrain of the North Slope of Alaska is not steep, but Andrew Jacobson still has difficulty as he hikes along the spongy tundra, which is riddled with rocks and masks multitudes of mosquitoes.Jacobson, a professor of earth and planetary sciences at Northwestern University, extracts soil and water samples in search of clues to one of global warming's biggest...

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2009-07-23 10:50:00

By comparing clear mountain lakes with brown forest lakes the scientists have been able to show that what controls production in lakes is light. This runs counter to conventional truths in lake research that says that productivity is determined by access to nutrients, such as phosphorous.  "In the brownest lakes sunlight can't penetrate more than about two meters. In clear mountain lakes, the light can reach down to depths of 15-20 meters and lead to high production of algae on lake...

2009-07-09 15:44:17

An Australian-led team of scientists says it has determined the amount of frozen carbon in Earth's northern regions is more than double previous estimates. We now estimate the deposits contain over 1.5 trillion tons of frozen carbon, about twice as much carbon as contained in the atmosphere, said Charles Tarnocai of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the study's lead author. Pep Canadell, executive director of Australia's Global Carbon Project and study co-author, said the existence of...

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2009-07-09 13:19:41

Scientists have determined that the oldest viable seeds in the world, dating from the Pleistocene era, are not as old as experts once believed, BBC News reported. The seeds, which have been grown into live Arctic lupine plants, are not 10,000 years old as believed, according to new dating techniques. In fact, using the new methods, scientists have concluded they are actually modern seeds that contaminated ancient rodent burrows. However, the scientist who debunked the record said it remains...

2009-06-30 14:16:45

The vast amount of carbon stored in the arctic and boreal regions of the world is more than double that previously estimated, according to a study published this week.The amount of carbon in frozen soils, sediments and river deltas (permafrost) raises new concerns over the role of the northern regions as future sources of greenhouse gases."We now estimate the deposits contain over 1.5 trillion tons of frozen carbon, about twice as much carbon as contained in the atmosphere", said Dr. Charles...

2009-06-17 09:50:00

Two University of the Alaska Fairbanks researchers are among key contributors to a new national report that details visible effects of climate change in the United States and how today's choices stand to affect the future.The report, "Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States," is the first to focus on observed and projected climate change and its effects specifically in the United States. UAF scientists A. David McGuire and John Walsh were part of a consortium of experts from 13...