Translate page with Google

Story Publication logo November 3, 2021

Melting Tundra Raises Climate Scientists’ Concerns



Ice and Fire

Release of a relatively small fraction of it could dramatically speed up climate change. Researchers...



Professor Ted Schuur, a geography professor at Northern Arizona University, stands by the central-Alaska plot of tundra that he’s been heating for the last 13 years. The several feet of permafrost has melted, collapsing the soil, creating a pond. Some of his clear plastic boxes, used for measuring carbon dioxide emitted from underground, are visible in the foreground. Image by Daniel Grossman. United States, 2021.

The climate is changing faster than many scientists expected. Among the worrisome indicators: more than 4 million square miles of carbon-rich frozen soil in and around the Arctic.

It's been frozen for hundreds, maybe thousands, of years. But in some places, it's beginning to thaw.

Reporter Daniel Grossman visited Alaska and talked with two scientists who say if that trend continues, the outcome could be catastrophic. Listen to the audio of his report above.

As a nonprofit journalism organization, we depend on your support to fund more than 170 reporting projects every year on critical global and local issues. Donate any amount today to become a Pulitzer Center Champion and receive exclusive benefits!


yellow halftone illustration of an elephant


Environment and Climate Change

Environment and Climate Change


two cows


Bringing Stories Home

Bringing Stories Home

Support our work

Your support ensures great journalism and education on underreported and systemic global issues