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(2 Apr 2009 12:57 GMT) - Higher temperatures in Arctic permafrost soils alter the community of methane producing microorganisms and lead to an increased emission of methane. Microbiologists from the Alfred Wegener Institute come to this conclusion in the current issue of the periodical 'Environmental Microbiology.' The scientists were able to examine permafrost from the ground of the Laptev Sea, a shallow shelf sea close to the coast of Siberia, for the first time. Caused by overflooding with relatively warm sea water, this so-called 'submarine permafrost' is about 10 C warmer than the permafrost on land. It is therefore particularly suited to monitor changes in permafrost soils caused by continuing heating of the earth's atmosphere…
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