Carbon in Alaska’s North Slope spends about 13 percent less time locked in frozen soil than it did 40 years ago
Arctic stores a substantial amount of carbon dioxide in its permafrost soil. Warming temperatures are exposing this frozen soil carbon to microbial decomposition which in turn increase carbon dioxide release in the atmosphere. Now, researchers have found that this vast reservoir of carbon stored in Arctic is entering atmopshere at an increasing rate, possibly due to the region’s rapid warming.
Study of Alaska’s North Slope tundra ecosystems shows that the carbon there spends about 13 percent less time locked in frozen soil than it did 40 years ago. It means that carbon cycle in this region is speeding up and releasing carbon at a pace more associated with a North American boreal forest.