They are found in the northern parts of Alaska, Canada, Russia, and parts of northern Europe
A recent study has found that by 2040, northern Europe might become too wet and warm to support permafrost peatlands (frozen, carbon-storing expanses of land). By 2060, Europe and western Siberia could lose 75 percent of permafrost peatlands under moderate efforts to mitigate climate change.
Peatlands are a class of wetlands. It refers to the peat soil and the wetland habitats growing on the surface. Therefore, peatlands are ecosystems flooded with water. Waterlogged conditions limit microbial decay of dead plant materials rich in carbon dioxide. This prevents the reintroduction of carbon dioxide gas into the atmosphere.
Some peatlands are buried under frozen ground or permafrost and exist as permafrost peatlands. They are found in the northern parts of Alaska, Canada, Russia, and parts of northern Europe.
Permafrost is any ground that remains completely frozen for at least two years straight. The frozen wetlands in Europe and western Siberia store up to 39 billion tonnes of carbon.
For millennia, cold temperatures have conserved vast amounts of peat carbon. As permafrost thaws, microbes begin decomposing the material. This process emits greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide and methane, further accelerating climate change. When permafrost thaws, so do ancient bacteria and viruses in the ice and soil. These newly unfrozen germs have the potential to make people and animals severely sick. This would imply that we would have to maintain the peatlands frozen.