Girl Planting seeds

Thawing Arctic peatlands risk unlocking huge amounts of carbon

The Artic landscape is changing at an unprecedented pace: in Sweden, entire towns and villages, houses half sunken into the ground, are being moved to more stable ground, as the permafrost they had been built on shifts and melts. In the Canadian north, suitable houses have become so rare that apartment prices have skyrocketed, triggering a housing crisis. All around the Arctic, homes lay abandoned, the damage too severe. Roads and other vital infrastructure are at risk, too.  Scientists have been warning us for quite some time now that a warmer planet could lead to the thawing of permafrost and the vegetable matter—peat—locked up inside it. Sinking homes are only the visible consequence of this phenomenon. Large-scale melting is expected to release huge amounts of CO2, which will in turn lead to more heating, with devastating consequences on the climate… and our everyday lives.  A recent study predicts that there’s a one in 20 chance of a 2-metre sea level rise if we do nothing.  Read more...

 

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