Tag Archives: frozen-soil

Thawing Permafrost 50 Million Years Ago Led To Warm Global Events, Says New Study

A new study led by the University of Massachusetts Amherst and involving the University of Colorado Boulder proposes a simple new mechanism to explain the source of carbon that fed a series of extreme warming events on Earth about 50 million years ago called the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, or PETM, as well as a sequence of similar, smaller warming events afterward.

“The standard hypothesis has been that the source of carbon was in the ocean in the form of frozen methane gas in ocean-floor sediments,” said lead study author Rob DeConto of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. “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.” (more…)

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