Tuesday, December 7, 2010

. . . and speaking of forest fires

Alaska's peat bogs are burning.

About half of the carbon dioxide we emit is taken up by the biosphere, cutting the rate of growth in atmospheric carbon dioxide by half. That will change. While catastrophic shifts like the explosive release of methyl hydrates are a frightening possibility, the smoldering (literally, in this case) CO2 feedbacks are already gradually reducing the net uptake and will eventually reverse it. Once that happens CO2 levels will continue to rise even if we stop all human emissions.

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