07 Apr '12, 11am

Carbon in Polar permafrost 'behind ancient global warming' | Climate | The Earth Times via @earthtimes

Carbon in Polar permafrost 'behind ancient global warming' | Climate | The Earth Times via @earthtimes

Permafrost image via Shutterstock Global warming 55 million years ago may have been caused by carbon in thawed Polar permafrost, scientists say. Up until now, the most common theory was that the carbon that led the warming came from frozen methane in seabed sediment. But climate expert Rob DeConto from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and other researchers say Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) have an alternative explanation. "We are instead ascribing the carbon source to the continents, in polar latitudes where permafrost can store massive amounts of carbon that can be released as CO2 when the permafrost thaws." The new theory is backed by estimates of the levels of greenhouse gas and vegetation, the way the Earth's orbit and tilt altered and the amount of carbon in rocks and freezing soil. It is likely that the level of carbon causing PETM may have been much...

Full article: http://www.earthtimes.org/climate/carbon-polar-permafrost...

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