In the permafrost found a new threat to humanity
Scientists of the free University of Amsterdam found that melting permafrost may lead to increase in emissions of carbon. This can increase the speed of climate warming and to strengthen the associated with such catastrophic events as droughts, floods and extreme freezing.
The researchers studied the chemical composition of water in lakes and rivers in the Northwest territories of Canada.
They found that with the onset of summer in reservoirs increases the amount of dissolved carbon and carbon dioxide.
Scientists attribute this to the fact that, as melting permafrost releases the carbon that was previously in the plant remnants, which are preserved in the frozen soil.
Global warming contributes every year more and more severe destruction of the cryosphere. From vegetation remnants, whose age is approximately 3-4 thousand years and more exposed to germs that leads to the release of carbon.
The researchers admit that the release of ancient carbon may be part of the normal geochemical cycle. The fact is that because of the phenomenon called cryoturbation when, due to seasonal thawing and freezing of mixed layers of soil, the older carbon may change places with the one that came in the permafrost recently. Thus, it becomes difficult to determine whether a leak of ancient organics with the usual cycle of substances or global warming. However, scientists believe that it is most likely the second option.