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Picture of the Day

A key to climate stabilization could be buried deep in the mud

Earth's peatland soils store a lot of carbon -- about as much as currently flows freely through the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. As global temperatures rise, scientists worry that the planet's grip on these carbon reservoirs could weaken, unleashing a "carbon bomb" that could further destabilize Earth's climate systems. But a new, National Science Foundation-funded study offers some hope that Earth's carbon reservoirs might not be quite as vulnerable as experts predict. In a global survey of peatlands -- areas defined by soil-like, partially decomposed organic matter -- researchers found signs that these carbon-rich environments could show some level of long-term resilience even as temperatures continue to climb.

Visit Website | Image credit: Suzanne Hodgkins/Florida State University