Last week, State Street students visited Paradise Park to measure CO2 levels of microorganisms when frozen soil is allowed to thaw. Working with, Dartmouth scientist, Julia Bradley-Cook, 5th & 6th graders dug 1-2 feet below the snow to determine if there was CO2 released from microorganisms when warm water was added to frozen soil.
On a global scale, scientists are monitoring similar effects up in the Arctic. The process is known as a positive feedback loop, where more carbon dioxide is released which adds to global warming and speeds up the thawing of the Arctic permafrost, which leads to the release of more carbon dioxide. Recent studies seem to indicate that it is not just warming permafrost and the presence of carbon from bacterial activity that causes the release of carbon dioxide but also sunlight plays a critical role.
Once again, we are thankful for the level of investigative science this partnership with Dartmouth College provides!