BBC Future Speaks with U of G Permafrost Expert

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Prof. Merritt Turetsky

Prof. Merritt Turetsky, a permafrost expert from U of G’s Department of Integrative Biology, spoke to BBC Future about how the forest fires burning in northern Canada, Russia and Greenland are transforming the Arctic.

Turetsky commented that the North “is a vast, global refrigerator for carbon” and these fires are releasing vast amounts of that carbon, posing a threat to the global climate.

The article cites new research from Turetsky and colleagues that found that the extreme heat of these wildfires is threatening to turn the boreal forests from carbon sinks into carbon sources.

Turetsky is an ecosystem ecologist who holds the Canada Research Chair in Integrative Ecology and studies the resilience of ecosystems to environmental change.