The National Science Foundation Office of Polar Programs has awarded ORAU a collaborative research grant to study greenhouse gas emissions in the Arctic. The award is valued at $581,829.
The grant will be used to study local and regional emissions of isotopes of methane and carbon dioxide. Methane and carbon dioxide are two greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases can help raise the Earth’s temperature, changing the climate and causing other significant changes. (Isotopes are different forms of an element that have equal numbers of protons but different numbers of neutrons in their nuclei.)
In a press release, ORAU said carbon stored in permafrost is increasingly vulnerable to thaw and decomposition by microbes as northern latitudes such as the Arctic continue to warm.
“This decomposition has the potential to lead to large increases in methane and carbon dioxide emissions, both important greenhouse gases,” ORAU said. “Accurate and reliable forecasts of greenhouse gas emissions are critical for the improvement of global models that predict changes to temperature and sea level.”[Read more…]