Sunlight controls the fate of carbon released from thawing Arctic permafrost

August 22, 2014 2:02 PM

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Sunlight controls the fate of carbon released from thawing Arctic permafrost

Just how much Arctic permafrost will thaw in the future and how fast heat-trapping carbon dioxide will be released from those warming soils is a topic of lively debate among climate scientists.

To answer those questions, scientists need to understand the mechanisms that control the conversion of organic soil carbon into carbon dioxide gas. Until now, researchers believed that bacteria were largely responsible.

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