Arctic 'laughing gas' belch is no joke


THE Arctic is belching out nitrous oxide – commonly known as laughing gas. Unfortunately, the punchline is that it is a powerful greenhouse gas. Previously, emissions of N2O into the atmosphere were thought to come mainly from tropical forests and intensively managed farmland, with a negligible amount from northerly environments. Maija Repo and colleagues from the University of Kuopio, Finland, measured emissions from peat circles in northern Russia. These sit on peatland plateaux, which are widespread in the Arctic,
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