Monthly Archives: July 2016

Methane release from permafrost

As global mean temperature increases due to an increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases, the extreme northern latitudes are heating disproportionately fast.  The warming conditions at high northern latitudes is melting permafrost soil.  Permafrost soil has a relatively high proportion of organic materials because decomposition is normally slow to act upon the soil (it is normally frozen!).  But with warmer temperatures, decomposition rates are increasing and decomposition gases (most of which are themselves greenhouse gases) are being released.  In the video below, decomposition gases have been trapped below a tightly knit mat of vegetation, giving the ground a “liquid” appearance.