Nitrous oxide from Tibetan permafrost packs global warming punch

Read the full story in Chemical & Engineering News.

Permafrost, the perennially frozen layer of soil found in cold regions, releases the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane as it thaws—a problem becoming more prevalent with global climate change. But permafrost researchers have often overlooked emissions of nitrous oxide, a gas with 300 times the warming power of CO2. Now, a new study estimates that thawing areas of Tibetan alpine permafrost are releasing so much N2O that their emission rates rival those from the largest known terrestrial sources of the gas (Environ. Sci. Technol. 2018, DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.8b02271).

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