Computer sims: In climatic tug of war, carbon released from thawing permafrost wins handily

18 marzo 2015

There will be a lot more carbon released from thawing permafrost than the amount taken in by more Arctic vegetation, according to new computer simulations. The findings are from an Earth system model that is the first to represent permafrost processes as well as the dynamics of carbon and nitrogen in the soil. Simulations using the model showed that by the year 2300, if climate change continues unchecked, the net loss of carbon to the atmosphere from Arctic permafrost would range from between 21 petagrams and 164 petagrams. That’s equivalent to between two years and 16 years of human-induced CO2 emissions.