Arctic peatlands may release potent greenhouse gas as permafrost thaws

By Bianca Nogrady

Arctic peatlands may become a substantial source of a greenhouse gas 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide when they thaw, a new study suggests.

The study by a team of Scandinavian scientists indicated that thawing permafrost could release nitrous oxide (N2O) — also known as 'laughing gas' — under increasing temperatures.

Based on an analysis of frozen peat cores exposed to warming conditions in the laboratory, they estimated nitrous oxide emissions could occur from surfaces covering almost one-fourth of the entire Arctic.

Trump priority: Opening Alaska's Arctic Refuge to oil drilling


Washington - The White House budget will be delivered to Congress on Tuesday, and as part of President Trump's plans to help balance the federal budget is a proposal to open the coastal plain (Area 1002) of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling.


And while the president's budget is far-reaching in the number of critical cuts to many agencies and the services they provide, it is meant as a proposal and will probably not be approved by Congress in its current form. 


But at the same time, it does reveal President Trump's unwavering hope of ramping up America's energy output. And the wealth of oil lying under Alaska's coastal plain, estimated at about 10.4 billion barrels of oil — compared with 25 billion at the older Prudhoe Bay oil field to the west, has been the subject of a never-ending political debate for years, according to the Associated Press. 


Climate Change Could Uncover An Abandoned Arctic Nuclear Base

 By Sarah Rieger

Climate change is causing record levels of ice to disappear from the Arctic, and the melt is unearthing something that was supposed to stay buried for centuries — an abandoned U.S. nuclear base.


Camp Century was built in Greenland in 1959 during the peak of the Cold War. The subterranean base held between 85 and 200 soldiers year-round. The base was built under the pretense that it would be a centre for scientific experiments on the icecap and a space to test construction techniques in Arctic conditions. 

The base was really part of "Project Iceworm," a top secret U.S. army program that intended to build a network of missile launch sites under the ice sheet. 

Military resumes cleaning environmental damage in the Arctic

The Central Military District (CMD) has begun this year's effort to clear environmental damage in the Arctic, CMD Commander Col. Gen. Vladimir Zarudnitsky said.



"This year's first environmental platoon started operations in Krasnoyarsk Territory, south of Taimyr Peninsula, earlier this month," he said.

The 20-person unit includes enlistees and has all-terrain vehicles at its disposal. "The platoon is equipped with engineering and special equipment and the necessary materiels," he said.

"Next year the CMD will form yet another platoon of the Defense Ministry to clean Arctic lands," he concluded.

Here's the Original Link

Plastic trash rides ocean currents to the Arctic

By Alison Pearce Steven

Scintists track tiny pieces of trash at the top of the world.

Remember the last plastic straw you used? It may have simply ended up in a landfill. But there’s also a good chance that straw just began a very long journey. Maybe it tumbled out of a garbage truck, for example. The wind might have blown it to a site where rainwater washed it into some stream. Eventually, it might have floated down to the ocean. If that straw hitched a ride on an ocean current, it might have kept traveling. A new study finds that ocean currents send a surprising amount of plastic trash from the North Atlantic up into the Arctic.

And because plastic doesn’t readily break down in the environment, it can stick around long enough to cause trouble. Animals can get tangled in plastic netting or bags. Some critters may mistake it for food and eat it. From tiny plankton to the fish on our plates to sea birds and even whales, plastic increasingly has been finding its way onto the dinner menu of creatures around the world.

‘Doomsday’ tunnel entrance in Arctic flooded by melting permafrost

  • By Shelby Lin Erdman


The entrance tunnel to the world’s largest seed storage facility built into the permafrost in a mountain in a remote area of the Arctic Circle in Norway has been flooded by melting permafrost. 

The storage facility, which opened in 2008, was supposed to be an impregnable rock vault protecting the world’s food supply in the event of a global catastrophe, either man-made or natural, but The Guardian reports permafrost meltwater inundated the entrance to the tunnel leading to the seed vault after extremely warm winter temperatures in the Arctic.