Brevia

Ancient Permafrost and a Future, Warmer Arctic

Science  19 Sep 2008:
Vol. 321, Issue 5896, pp. 1648
DOI: 10.1126/science.1157525

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Abstract

Climate models predict extensive and severe degradation of permafrost in response to global warming, with a potential for release of large volumes of stored carbon. However, the accuracy of these models is difficult to evaluate because little is known of the history of permafrost and its response to past warm intervals of climate. We report the presence of relict ground ice in subarctic Canada that is greater than 700,000 years old, with the implication that ground ice in this area has survived past interglaciations that were warmer and of longer duration than the present interglaciation.

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