• Skyhawk Global Spill Control & Clean Up
    Skyhawk Global

    HydroEater- our unique bioremediation solution

    What Is Bio Remediation? Bio Remediation is a specific process used to treat contaminated media, including water, soil and subsurface material, by altering the environmental conditions to stimulate growth of microorganisms and degrade the target pollutants. In many cases, bioremediation is less expensive and more sustainable than other remediation alternatives.

  • Condorchem Envitech Water
    Condorchem Envitech

    Experts in Wastewater & Air Treatment for 25 years in the Automotive Industry

    From the automotive manufacturing industry there are two main areas of environmental impact:

  • Ecobuild 2018 & BREEAM Awards & Standards
    Ecobuild 2018 & BREEAM

    BREEAM Awards partners with ecobuild 2018

    The 2018 BREEAM Awards, leading awards for sustainability within the global built environment, has joined forces with ecobuild. The awards will also feature the 2018 GRESB awards, rewarding excellence in property investment.

  • Chelsea Technologies Group Water
    Chelsea Technologies Group

    Please vote for CTG's FastBallast to win the "Green4Sea Awards - Technology category"

v ecohouse button

baxi button web

web mossborough spud field copy

Wednesday, 29 July 2015 12:40

Microbes create vicious cycle of climate change as permafrost thaws

Ancient carbon stores from more than 50,000 years ago are being released into the atmosphere by microbes, which may fuel further global climate change.

Permafrost thaw copyThe new research finds that as Arctic regions warm, previously frozen ancient carbon, known as permafrost, is thawing and being released to inland streams and rivers. Once mobilised, aquatic microbes can efficiently 'feed' on this permafrost, releasing 'old' carbon dioxide into the earth's atmosphere.

According to Dr. Paul Mann, Research Fellow at Northumbria University and lead author of the research recently published in Nature Communications, this could cause further warming and potentially greater rates of global climate change.

Paul said: "We show that microbes in Arctic stream and river networks appear to favour the older carbon, and use it first, releasing carbon that has been frozen in the ground for thousands of years into the atmosphere, influencing our climate.

"The warmer the earth becomes, the more permafrost is likely to be released, ultimately resulting in more greenhouse gases causing the earth to warm further."

The findings are based on work carried out by Paul and a team of researchers from the USA, Russian Federation, Switzerland and the Netherlands, who studied the effects of thawing permafrost in a remote Northeast region of Siberia during field expeditions between 2012 and 2014.

The team collected hundreds of water samples and conducted experiments to determine the amount and type of carbon that microbes were using as a food source.

Paul explained: "We were surprised to see how quickly microbes used this older carbon when it was available, meaning a large proportion will not make it out to the expansive Arctic Ocean.

"This research will help us to develop more accurate future predictions of climate change. We know that the earth is continuing to warm from our activities, so we must try to understand how additional factors like thawing permafrost may alter the rate and speed of change.

"Although the Arctic seems a distant place, it is important to realise that changes happening there can and will affect all of us."

Paul's research was funded by the National Science Foundation (USA) and an Anniversary Research Fellowship at Northumbria University, in the north east of England.

The full research paper can be accessed using the following link: