This 4 minute video adapted from KUAC-TV and the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks does a nice job of explaining how soil microbes in Arctic permafrost are contributing to the carbon cycle throughout the year and not just during the summer. This video also describes how these microbes are part of a positive feedback loop: as more permafrost thaws, more microbes are active, releasing more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, accelerating warming - the role of shrubs and snow in this feedback loop is also addressed.
This teaching resources has been approved by the Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network and is accompanied by a background essay as well as discussion questions.
Environmental scientist Rose Cory, PhD, is investigating how sunlight accelerates microbial activity in thawing permafrost. To learn more click here.