Earth  ID: 13047

New Arctic Lakes Could Soon Be a Major Source of Atmospheric Methane

For centuries, a massive store of carbon has been locked underground in the Arctic's permanently frozen soil known as permafrost. As Earth's climate continues to warm, that carbon has begun to leach into the atmosphere, the result of microbes waking up and digesting once-frozen organic materials.

A new NASA-funded study focuses on a mechanism that could accelerate the release of this atmospheric carbon, the result of thermokarst lakes. These lakes form when thawing permafrost causes the ground to slump, creating a depression that collects rain and snowmelt and perpetuates a cycle of further permafrost thaw.
 

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Kathryn Mersmann (USRA): Lead Producer
Ellen T. Gray (ADNET Systems Inc.): Lead Writer
Jefferson Beck (USRA): Videographer
Katey Walter Anthony (University of Alaska Fairbanks): Lead Scientist
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Keywords:
SVS >> Climate
DLESE >> Cryology
SVS >> HDTV
SVS >> Methane
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Cryosphere
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Atmosphere >> Atmospheric Chemistry/Carbon and Hydrocarbon Compounds >> Methane
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Cryosphere >> Frozen Ground >> Permafrost
GCMD >> Location >> Arctic
SVS >> Climate Change
NASA Science >> Earth
SVS >> Methane Bubbles

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 8.0.0.0.0