Beavers accelerate thawing of Arctic’s permafrost

Beavers are inadvertently releasing greenhouse gases from permafrost into the atmosphere. That’s the conclusion of new research presented last week at the American Geophysical Union’s annual meeting, The New York Times reports. Warmer temperatures have enabled the rodents to take up residence in regions farther and farther north and as they settle into their new digs and build dams, the floods thaw once permanently frozen ground. Researchers estimate global permafrost holds twice as much carbon as the atmosphere, meaning the animals are changing the arctic landscape and exacerbating climate change.  

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