A study reported in Nature Geoscience revealed that when permafrost thaws, it releases nitrous oxide, under specific conditions, or simply ‘laughing gas’.
In recent years, the emissions of nitrous oxide has sharply increased from thawing landscapes in Greenland and other areas in the Northern Hemisphere. Zackenberg, an area in the eastern region of Greenland is one of those areas where thawing ice produces nitrous oxide which in turns contributes to global warming.
There are five other ‘wetland sites’ in the Arctic area that may contain higher rates of nitrous oxide emissions than Zackenberg.
Nozz or ‘laughing gas’ is produced at a faster rate by human activities of course..the activites being that of employing fossil fuels. Normally nitrous oxide is brought out by microbe organisms in wet regions, most notably in tropical forests.
Acccording to Bo Elberling, the study’s lead, a “resaturation of the drained soils with meltwater from the frozen soils as would happen following thawing, increased nitrous oxide production by over 20 times.”
Previously, scientists observing the gas and the climate in past studies speculated that significant amounts of methane and carbon dioxide were released while nitrous oxide “stayed in” while the permafrost thawed.
The process of the permafrost thawing yields not only the evil duo of CH4 and CO2 as speculated by past studies but also the nitrous oxide which wasn’t caught by scientists in the past. Nearly1/3 of ‘laughing gas’ is released into the atmosphere making it the third most important greenhouse gas.