Quantcast

CO2 Emissions Soar as Alaska Heats Up

Popular
Collapsed permafrost block of coastal tundra on Alaska's Arctic Coast. USGS

The Alaskan tundra is releasing an increasingly large amount of CO2 due to a warmer climate, new research shows.


A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that CO2 emitted from the tundra between October and December of each year increased more than 70 percent from 1975 to 2015, likely influenced by season creep and increasingly warmer winters.

"There is a lot of potential CO2 from these soils, which worries people," lead author Roisin Commane told the Guardian. "We'd prefer the carbon stays there."

The study suggested that the tundra's emissions of CO2 have become greater than its uptake during the spring and summer growing season.

"Tundra soils appear to be acting as an amplifier of climate change," co-author Steve Wofsy, a Harvard atmospheric scientist, said in a statement issued by NASA. "We need to carefully monitor what it's doing up there, even late in the year when everything looks frozen and dormant."

For a deeper dive:

New York Times, Washington Post, The Guardian, InsideClimate News, Alaska Dispatch News

For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up for daily Hot News.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A verdant and productive urban garden in Havana. Susanne Bollinger / Wikimedia Commons

By Paul Brown

When countries run short of food, they need to find solutions fast, and one answer can be urban farming.

Read More Show Less
Trevor Noah appears on set during a taping of "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah" in New York on Nov. 26, 2018. The Daily Show With Trevor Noah / YouTube screenshot

By Lakshmi Magon

This year, three studies showed that humor is useful for engaging the public about climate change. The studies, published in The Journal of Science Communication, Comedy Studies and Science Communication, added to the growing wave of scientists, entertainers and politicians who agree.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
rhodesj / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Cities around the country are considering following the lead of Berkeley, California, which became the first city to ban the installation of natural gas lines in new homes this summer.

Read More Show Less
Rebecca Burgess came up with the idea of a fibersheds project to develop an eco-friendly, locally sourced wardrobe. Nicolás Boullosa / CC BY 2.0

By Tara Lohan

If I were to open my refrigerator, the origins of most of the food wouldn't be too much of a mystery — the milk, cheese and produce all come from relatively nearby farms. I can tell from the labels on other packaged goods if they're fair trade, non-GMO or organic.

Read More Show Less
A television crew reports on Hurricane Dorian while waves crash against the Banana River sea wall. Paul Hennessy / SOPA Images / LightRocket / Getty Images

By Mark Hertsgaard and Kyle Pope

Some good news, for a change, about climate change: When hundreds of newsrooms focus their attention on the climate crisis, all at the same time, the public conversation about the problem gets better: more prominent, more informative, more urgent.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Mike Braun (R-Ind.) met with Bill Gates on Nov. 7 to discuss climate change and ways to address the challenge. Senator Chris Coons

The U.S. Senate's bipartisan climate caucus started with just two members, a Republican from Indiana and a Democrat from Delaware. Now it's up to eight members after two Democrats, one Independent and three more Republicans joined the caucus last week, as The Hill reported.

Read More Show Less
EPA scientists survey aquatic life in Newport, Oregon. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to significantly limit the use of science in agency rulemaking around public health, the The New York Times reports.

Read More Show Less
A timelapse video shows synthetic material and baby fish collected from a plankton sample from a surface slick taken off Hawaii's coast. Honolulu Star-Advertiser / YouTube screenshot

A team of researchers led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration didn't intend to study plastic pollution when they towed a tiny mesh net through the waters off Hawaii's West Coast. Instead, they wanted to learn more about the habits of larval fish.

Read More Show Less