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Al Grillo / AP

By 2050 a lot of Alaska's permafrost, a storehouse of carbon over time, could be gone, the NYT reports.

  • Per University of Alaska, Fairbanks researcher Vladimir Ramonovsky, permafrost temperatures have already risen by 3 degrees Celsius at depths of 65 feet "over decades" and temperatures closer to the surface have climbed by as much as 5 degrees Celsius at one location.
  • Researchers debate the extent to which the permafrost will thaw, when it will happen, and how much carbon dioxide is trapped in it, but the warming trend is already being tied to rising carbon emissions in the Alaskan tundra, indicating it may be "shifting from a sink, or storehouse, of carbon, to a net source," the NYT's Henry Fountain writes.
  • Why it matters: Those emissions could contribute to heat being trapped in the atmosphere and compound warming. Plus, thawing could cost Alaska's infrastructure — think buckling roads, shifting construction, and slumping land.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate pulls all-nighter on amendments to COVID relief package

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Democratic leaders struck an agreement with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) on emergency unemployment insurance late Friday, clearing the way for Senate action on President Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package to resume after an hours-long delay.

The state of play: The Senate continued to work through votes on a marathon of amendments overnight into Saturday morning.

The elusive political power of Mexican Americans

Data: Pew Research Center, U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Michelle McGhee/Axios

Mexican Americans make up the nation's largest Latino group, yet they remain politically outshined by more recently arrived Cuban Americans.

Why it matters: The disparities in political power between Mexican Americans and Cuban Americans reflect the racial, historical, geographical and economic differences within Latino cultures in the U.S.