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Permafrost Now

In vast swaths of polar tundra across the globe, permafrost acts as a giant container for carbon dioxide, locking it inside the Earth’s surface and keeping it out of our atmosphere. But only when it’s frozen. Scientists know that permafrost is rapidly thawing, threatening to release enormous amounts of carbon dioxide that could accelerate the effects of climate change drastically. The Woods Hole Research Center’s Polaris Project sends teams of students and advisors to the northern tundra of Alaska, where they meticulously research the permafrost, work on potential solutions, and strive to become the next generation of Arctic scientists.