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Greenhouse Gas Research Group

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Is the Arctic Methane Budget Changing? (NERC)

Methane is the second most important greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide. Sources of methane to the atmosphere, both natural and human-driven, have been intensively studied and are now well established; however, their global and regional estimates still suffer from large uncertainties.

The region above the Arctic Circle is very important from this perspective because of a unique combination of methane emission sources which are active now, e.g. wetlands and forest fires, and those which may become active in the future owing to regional climate change. Potentially important future sources include thawing permafrost soils and methane-rich oceanic sediments (clathrates). Since the Arctic has been warming much faster compared to the rest of the world, this may trigger various changes in the active methane sources as well as those that represent large pools of carbon (permafrost soil) or gaseous methane (clathrates).

More information can be found at http://arp.arctic.ac.uk/projects/arctic-methane-budget-changing/


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