Permafrost may nearly disappear by 2100

Dec 20, 2005

The National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., says global warming may destroy most permafrost across the Northern Hemisphere.

Researchers said warming may decimate the top 10 feet or more of perennially frozen soil, altering ecosystems as well as damaging buildings and roads across Canada, Alaska, and Russia.

New simulations from NCAR show more than half of the area covered by the topmost layer of permafrost could thaw by 2050 and as much as 90 percent by 2100. Scientists expect the thawing to increase runoff into the Arctic Ocean and release vast amounts of carbon into the atmosphere.

The study is the first to examine the state of permafrost in a global model that includes interactions among the atmosphere, ocean, land, and sea ice as well as a soil model that depicts freezing and thawing.

The research appears online in the Dec. 17 issue of Geophysical Research Letters.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Envisioning the moon as a launch pad to explore the outer solar system

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Methane is leaking from permafrost offshore Siberia

Dec 22, 2014

Yamal Peninsula in Siberia has recently become world famous. Spectacular sinkholes, appeared as out of nowhere in the permafrost of the area, sparking the speculations of significant release of greenhouse ...

NASA air campaigns focus on Arctic climate impacts

Sep 17, 2014

Over the past few decades, average global temperatures have been on the rise, and this warming is happening two to three times faster in the Arctic. As the region's summer comes to a close, NASA is hard at ...

Recommended for you

Stars found forming at Milky Way's outer edge

6 hours ago

Brazilian astronomers said Friday they had found two star clusters forming in a remote part of our Milky Way galaxy where such a thing was previously thought impossible.

'Bright spot' on Ceres has dimmer companion

15 hours ago

Dwarf planet Ceres continues to puzzle scientists as NASA's Dawn spacecraft gets closer to being captured into orbit around the object. The latest images from Dawn, taken nearly 29,000 miles (46,000 kilometers) ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.