If Past Is a Guide, Arctic Could Be Verging on Permafrost Collapse

If Past Is a Guide, Arctic Could Be Verging on Permafrost Collapse

Today, the planet is once again enduring a period of rapid climate change—this time caused by human emissions of greenhouse gases. If the past is any lesson for the future, that could mean a little more warming may trigger yet another massive destabilization of Arctic permafrost. Multiple studies have documented widespread warming and thawing in permafrost regions across the Arctic. The new study suggests rapid climate change—even just a few degrees of warming—could trigger dramatic bursts of carbon from the thawing Arctic. The study suggests that three distinct periods of rapid climate change over the past 27,000 years each coincided with massive thawing and collapsing on permafrost landscapes.

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