in 2007, the largest fire ever recorded in the Arctic swept across the Alaskan Northern Slope region, releasing an estimated 2.1 teragrams (2.3 million tons) of carbon into the atmosphere. Researchers estimate that the release of carbon was equivalent to a year’s worth of carbon storage for the entire Arctic tundra biome. Climate warming in the Arctic may lead to a greater frequency of such large fires, putting permafrost at risk of thawing and releasing more CO2.
A research team confirms “extensive out-gassing of methane to the atmosphere” over the Eastern Siberian Arctic Shelf, and confirm its source to be venting from sea-bed sediments. Though acknowledging their findings do not seriously alter climate change predictions, the team also asserts that the sub-sea permafrost layer is failing and advise more urgent investigation.