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Study: Climate models underestimate permafrost emissions

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – A new study suggests global climate projections have drastically underestimated carbon emissions from thawing permafrost in the Arctic.

Alaska’s Energy Desk reports the study published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Communications has found that permafrost emissions could be more than double what has been projected because of the methane from thermokarst lakes, which form in permafrost.

Scientists have previously projected that the Arctic could absorb as much or more carbon than emitted partly because of additional plant growth from warmer temperatures.

The study by Katey Walter Anthony, University of Alaska Fairbanks professor, indicates that accounting for thermokarst lakes could boost permafrost emission projections in the later part of this century by 118 percent.

Anthony’s study calls for the broader climate models to start incorporating thermokarst lakes.

Information from: KTOO-FM, http://www.ktoo.org

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