Antarctica’s Hidden Carbon Stores Pose Warming Risk

Antarctica’s Hidden Carbon Stores Pose Warming Risk

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Antarctic researchers found as much as 400 billion metric tons of carbon hidden under the ice sheets, with the potential to seep out as methane and accelerate global warming. The carbon stored under Antarctic ice is on par with the amount held in the northern hemisphere’s frozen permafrost soils and the lower end of estimates for methane trapped under the Arctic Ocean, according to Jemma Wadham, professor of Glaciology at the U.K.’s University of Bristol and lead author of a study in the journal Nature.

Release of methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide, from under melting ice has the potential to create a feedback loop where higher temperatures result in changes that add to global warming.

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