Springtime, for most of us in northern temperate climes, is a welcome season of blooming plants, longer days, and warmer temperatures. But for Ted Schuur, an ecologist at the University of Florida, the season has different connotations. For Schuur, spring means a new season of exploration and adventure on the geographic and scientific frontier, where he is trying to answer a question of immense importance for our warming planet: How much carbon is being released by the thawing of the Arctic's so-called permafrost? Permafrost is the frozen soil, water, and rock that, astonishingly, covers nearly one quarter of all the …
Get Grist in Your Inbox
Seth Shulman has worked for more than 25 years as a writer and editor specializing in issues in science, technology and the environment. A graduate of Harvard University, he has written five books and hundreds of articles for magazines including Smithsonian, The Atlantic, Parade, Discover, Rolling Stone, Popular Science, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Progressive, and Time, and for newspapers including the Times of London, The Boston Globe, and The Los Angeles Times.