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Changing Planet: Thawing Permafrost and Methane - Potent Source of Greenhouse Gas - Windows to the Universe

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Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather by Mike Smith tells the story of our storm warning system. See our online store book collection.

Changing Planet: Thawing Permafrost and Methane

As the Earth system warms due to rising levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the high latitude regions of the Earth, which have been in the deep freeze of permafrost for thousands of years, are beginning to thaw out.  As the ground thaws, organic matter trapped in the ground decomposes and releases methane - a potent greenhouse gas - into the atmosphere.  In addition, melting permafrost damages the infrastructure of communities and facilities at high latitudes, since these were built under the assumption that the ground would remain frozen.  

Click on the video at the left to watch the NBC Learn video - Changing Planet: Thawing Permafrost.

Lesson plan: Changing Planet: Permafrost Gas Leak

Last modified March 25, 2011 by Roberta Johnson.

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Traveling Nitrogen is a fun group game appropriate for the classroom. Players follow nitrogen atoms through living and nonliving parts of the nitrogen cycle. For grades 5-9.

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