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Title: Permafrost Meta-Omics and Climate Change

Permafrost (i.e., soil that has been frozen for at least 2 consecutive years) represents a habitat for microbial life at subzero temperatures (Gilichinsky et al. 2008). Approximately one quarter of the Earth’s surface is underlain by permafrost, which contains 25-50% of the total global soil carbon pool (Schuur et al. 2008, Tarnocai et al. 2009). This carbon is largely protected from microbial decomposition by reduced microbial activity in frozen conditions, but climate change is threatening to induce large-scale permafrost thaw thus exposing it to degradation. The resulting emissions of greenhouse gasses (GHGs) can produce a positive feedback loop and significantly amplify the effects of global warming. Increasing temperatures at high latitudes, changes in precipitation patterns, and frequent fire events have already initiated a widespread degradation of permafrost (Schuur et al. 2015).
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0084-6597
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences; Journal Volume: 44; Journal Issue: 1
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States