Friday, July 31, 2009

CLIMATE CHANGE SPEEDING RELEASE OF CO2 ESCAPING FROM ARCTIC SOIL

AFP - Climate change is speeding up the release of carbon dioxide from frigid peatlands in the sub-Arctic, fueling a vicious circle of global warming, according to a study .

An increase of just one degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) over current average temperatures would more than double the CO2 escaping from the peatlands.

Northern peatlands contain one-third of the planet's soil-bound organic carbon, the equivalent of half of all the CO2 in the atmosphere.

Peat is an accumulation of partially decayed vegetation found in wetlands or peatlands, which cover between two and three percent of the global land mass. While present in all climate zones, the vast majority of peatlands are found in sub-Arctic regions. . .

In another study released last month, the Global Carbon Project based in Australia found that the amount of carbon stored in the Arctic and boreal regions of the world is some 1.5 trillion tonnes, more than double previous estimates.