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carbon in the tundra regions

Posted on 2012-04-12
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Hello

How is carbon stored in the tundra region? Is it dissolved in the water (which is now ice)?

If global warming causes the tundra to melt, will this create a chain reaction effect whereby the melted ice will release more CO2 into the atmosphere which will then cause more warming which will cause more ice to melt?

thanks
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Question by:andieje
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by:d-glitch
d-glitch earned 1000 total points
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Here is one little reference:  http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v361/n6412/abs/361520a0.html

The CO2 source appears to be organic matter (dead lichen) that doesn't decompose when it is frozen, but does when it thaws.

Google    co2 tundra    for lots more.


>>  If global warming causes the tundra to melt, will this create a chain reaction effect whereby the melted ice will release more CO2 into the atmosphere which will then cause more warming which will cause more ice to melt?

That is the fear.  The above link refers to it as  "positive feedback".
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aburr earned 1000 total points
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"If global warming causes the tundra to melt, will this create a chain reaction effect whereby the melted ice will release more CO2 into the atmosphere which will then cause more warming which will cause more ice to melt?"
yes but this effect is small
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"How is carbon stored in the tundra region? "
It is in the plant material which is bog-like

"Is it dissolved in the water (which is now ice)?"
yes but this effect is very small

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BUT!!!!!!!!
The problem is not with the carbon, it is with the methane which is released when the tundra melts
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