A 2011 Nature paper by E. Schuur and B. Abbott Northern soils will release huge amounts of carbon in a warmer world, say Edward A. G. Schuur, Benjamin Abbott and the Permafrost Carbon Network.- estimates the amount of carbon vulnerable for release by 2100 is 1.7–5.2 times larger than those reported in previous modelling studies.
The estimated carbon release from this degradation is 30 billion to 63 billion tonnes of carbon by 2040, reaching 232 billion to 380 billion tonnes by 2100 and 549 billion to 865 billion tonnes by 2300. These values, expressed in CO2equivalents, combine the effect of carbon released as both CO2 and as CH4.
Scientists estimate from latest research that 40 percent of total terrestrial organic carbon is locked away in Arctic soil.
All Arctic carbon sources are presented here in the context of global carbon feedback prompted by a 2012 UNEP permafrost warning.
To understand why the Arctic holds most of the carbon on Earth we need to look at the deep past of the Arctic.