Due to rising temperatures in the Arctic, soil that had been locked in the permafrost ‘freezer’ is now thawing, releasing Pleistocene-era carbon back into the ecosystem. There, hungry microbes devour it, releasing carbon dioxide and methane gases. These potent greenhouse gases, added to the levels already in the atmosphere, fuel a dangerous feedback cycle. The massive amount of carbon stored in Arctic permafrost soil—four times more than all the vegetation on Earth—has been described as a ‘carbon bomb.’
Chris has been working on this project since 2009 with the Woods Hole Research Center creating a series of multimedia videos, an interactive website with hundreds of blog posts written by scientists and students, and a forthcoming (2016-2017) media campaign in collaboration with Braided River Press centered around a hardcover book and exhibit.