Most Earth System Models are missing key piece of future climate puzzle

Permafrost thaw in Siberia.

photo by Chris Linder

The way science is funded is hampering Earth System Models and may be skewing important climate predictions, according to a comment published in Nature Climate Change by Permafrost Pathways scientists at Woodwell Climate Research Center and an international team of modeling experts.

Emissions from thawing permafrost, frozen ground in the North that contains twice as much carbon as the atmosphere does and is thawing due to human-caused climate warming, are one of the largest uncertainties in future climate projections. But accurate representation of permafrost dynamics are missing from the major models that project future carbon emissions.

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