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Permafrost is a deep layer of frozen soil covering about a quarter of landmass in the northern hemisphere, and is thought to contain twice the amount of carbon already in the atmosphere.

Permafrost stores carbon dioxide, but it also has lots of little microbes in it and lots of organic matter. When that organic matter isn't frozen any more, it gets broken down by microbes in the soil and under certain circumstances that breakdown process releases a lot of methane.

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