Skidaway Institute of Oceanography – Permafrost, submerged under the soil layers in the arctic region is now slowly releasing carbon into the atmosphere. Due to global warming, the ice on the soil surface has started melting exposing the dead debris of the plants and animals to bacterial causing faster decomposition. This process is now causing the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which has become a great matter of concern for the environmentalists.
Permafrost is a vast subsurface of the soil and nearly covers a quarter of the Northern Hemisphere land. Underneath the upper soil surface are present the debris of plants and animals lying dead for centuries. It together forms a storehouse of carbon, which is now slowly being released as the topmost ice floor, is melting due to increase in the Earth’s temperature. Now, that the ice is slowly melting the scientists are thinking that it may not be accurate to term the submerged layer as ‘Perma’ anymore.
The Arctic is heating up at twice the rate at which the globe is warming up due to which the glaciers and the sea ice in this region are melting fast. A review published in the Nature journal recently has recently said that as the organic matter unfreezes, it will start decaying releasing stores of carbon into the atmosphere. It possibly can trigger off an irreversible feedback system and eliminate the authenticity of the calculations made by the scientists.
Now, apart from the carbon released into the atmosphere by the human activities, the researchers will have to consider the amount being released by the permafrost.
Permafrost Melting Can Cause Change Climate
Climatologists, carefully watching the introduction of carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere think that the melting of permafrost can lead to climate change. According to Aron Stubbins from University of Georgia Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, the Arctic is a storehouse of the massive amount of carbon that remained locked due to frost for more than 20,000 years.