WP4 co-coordinator Dr. Paul Overduin from the Alfred Wegener Institute is one of the co-authors of a new study that identifies microorganisms that decompose methane within permafrost beneath the ocean floor.
In their study, the researchers drilled frozen permafrost beneath the Arctic Ocean in Eastern Siberia and identified microorganisms capable of decomposing methane at low temperatures and without oxygen. The amount of methane that could be decomposed in submarine permafrost is suggested to be small at the global scale but significant compared to other environments.
To read more on the study, find the publication here
WP1 coordinator Dr. Gustaf Hugelus from Stockholm University is one of the co-authors of the new study, which has discovered that climate change caused permafrost thaw has major implications for the global mercury (Hg) cycle.
The new study finds that more than 15 million gallons of mercury is frozen in permafrost in the Northern hemisphere—roughly 10 times the amount of global mercury emissions over the last 30 years. Furthermore, the study reveals that northern permafrost soils are the largest reservoir of mercury on the planet, storing nearly twice as much mercury as all other soils, the ocean and the atmosphere combined.