Less Permafrost, More Global Warming

Less Permafrost, More Global Warming

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Thawing permafrost covering almost a quarter of the northern hemisphere could “significantly amplify global warming” at a time when the world is already struggling to reign in rising greenhouse gases, a U.N. report said. Permafrost usually thaws on the surface during summertime, but now scientists say thaws reach up to 10 feet deep due to warmer temperatures. The softened earth releases gases from decaying plants underground. The U.N. said the potential hazards of carbon dioxide and methane emissions from warming permafrost have not been factored into climate models before now.

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