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Melting Arctic: Cause and Effect of Climate Change

Arctic_sea_ice_loss_animationA melting Arctic is primarily discussed as a symptom of climate change. However, new evidence suggests that a melting Arctic’s contribution to climate change may be a lot more significant than previously suspected, offering the possibility of a worrying auto-catalytic process. As recently reported by AAAS:

Scientists are expressing fresh concerns about the carbon locked in the Arctic’s vast expanse of frozen soil. New field studies, presented here this week at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union, quantify the amount of soil carbon at 1.9 trillion metric tons, suggesting that previous estimates underestimated the climate risk if this carbon is liberated. Meanwhile, a new analysis of laboratory experiments that simulate carbon release by thawed soil is bolstering worries that continued carbon emissions could unleash a massive Arctic carbon wallop.

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