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Super-size deposits of frozen carbon in Arctic a growing threat to climate.

Byline: ANI

Washington, July 1 (ANI): A new study has estimated that the vast amount of carbon stored in the arctic and boreal bo·re·al  
1. Of or relating to the north; northern.

2. Of or concerning the north wind.

3. Boreal
 regions of the world is more than double that previously estimated, which raises new concerns over the role of the northern regions as future sources of greenhouse gases.

"We now estimate the deposits contain over 1.5 trillion tons of frozen carbon, about twice as much carbon as contained in the atmosphere," said Dr. Charles Tarnocai, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada The Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food, also referred to as Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) (French: Agriculture et Agroalimentaire Canada), is the department of the government of Canada with responsibility for policies governing agriculture , Ottawa, and lead author of the study.

According to Dr. Pep Canadell, Executive Director of the Global Carbon Project at CSIRO CSIRO Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organization (Australia) , Australia, and co-author of the study, the existence of these super-sized deposits of frozen carbon means that any thawing of permafrost permafrost, permanently frozen soil, subsoil, or other deposit, characteristic of arctic and some subarctic regions; similar conditions are also found at very high altitudes in mountain ranges.  due to global warming may lead to significant emissions of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane.

Carbon deposits frozen thousands of years ago can easily break down when permafrost thaws releasing greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, according to another recent study by some of the same authors.

"Radioactive carbon dating shows that most of the carbon dioxide currently emitted by thawing soils in Alaska was formed and frozen thousands of years ago. The carbon dating demonstrates how easily carbon decomposes when soils thaw under warmer conditions," said Professor Ted Schuur, University of Florida University of Florida is the third-largest university in the United States, with 50,912 students (as of Fall 2006) and has the eighth-largest budget (nearly $1.9 billion per year). UF is home to 16 colleges and more than 150 research centers and institutes.  and co-author of the paper.

The authors point out the large uncertainties surrounding the extent to which permafrost carbon thawing could further accelerate climate change.

"Permafrost carbon is a bit of a wildcard See wild cards and wildcard mask.  in the efforts to predict future climate change," said Dr Canadell.

"All evidence to date shows that carbon in permafrost is likely to play a significant role in the 21st century climate given the large carbon deposits, the readiness of its organic matter to release greenhouse gases when thawed, and the fact that high latitudes will experience the largest increase in air temperature of all regions," he added. (ANI)

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Publication:Asian News International
Date:Jul 1, 2009
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