Permafrost soils store large quantities of frozen carbon and play an important role in regulating Earth’s climate. In a study published in Nature Geoscience, researchers from Umeå University, Sweden, in collaboration with an international team, now show that river greenhouse gas emissions rise high in areas where Siberian permafrost is actively thawing.
As permafrost degrades, previously frozen carbon can end up in streams and rivers where it will be processed and emitted as greenhouse gases from the water surface directly into the atmosphere. Quantifying these river greenhouse gas emissions is particularly important in Western Siberia – an area that stores vast amounts of permafrost carbon and is a home to the Arctic’s largest watershed, Ob’ River.
Now researchers from Umeå University (and collaborators from SLU, Russia, France, and United Kingdom) have shown that river greenhouse gas emissions peak in the areas where Western Siberian permafrost has been actively degrading and decrease in areas where climate is colder, and permafrost has not started to thaw yet. The research team has also found out that greenhouse gas emissions from rivers exceed the amount of carbon that rivers transport to the Arctic Ocean.
“This was an unexpected finding as it means that Western Siberian rivers actively process and release large part of the carbon they receive from degrading permafrost and that the magnitude of these emissions might increase as climate continues to warm” says Svetlana Serikova, doctoral student in the Department of Ecology and Environmental sciences, Umeå University, and one of the researchers in the team.
Quantifying river greenhouse gas emissions from permafrost-affected areas in general and in Western Siberia in particular is important as it improves our understanding the role such areas play in the global carbon cycle as well as increases our abilities of predicting the impacts of a changing climate on the Arctic.
“The large-scale changes that take place in the Arctic due to warming exert a strong influence on the climate system and have far-reaching consequences for the rest of the world. That is why it is important we focus on capturing how climate warming affects the Arctic now before these dramatic changes happen” says Svetlana Serikova.
For more information, please contact:
Svetlana Serikova, doctoral student, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Umeå University
Jan Karlsson, professor, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Umeå University
S. Serikova, O.S. Pokrovsky, P. Ala-Aho, V. Kazantsev, S.N. Kirpotin, S.G. Kopysov, I.V. Krickov, H. Laudon, R.M.Manasypov, L.S. Shirokova, C. Soulsby, D. Tetzlaff and J. Karlsson, High riverine CO2 emissions at the permafrost boundary of Western Siberia, Nature Geoscience, DOI 10.1038/s41561-018-0218-1.
Umeå University | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Is the Baltic Sea acidifying?
19.09.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde
Searching for clues on extreme climate change
18.09.2018 | Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam - Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ
Thin-film solar cells made of crystalline silicon are inexpensive and achieve efficiencies of a good 14 percent. However, they could do even better if their shiny surfaces reflected less light. A team led by Prof. Christiane Becker from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has now patented a sophisticated new solution to this problem.
"It is not enough simply to bring more light into the cell," says Christiane Becker. Such surface structures can even ultimately reduce the efficiency by...
A study in the journal Bulletin of Marine Science describes a new, blood-red species of octocoral found in Panama. The species in the genus Thesea was discovered in the threatened low-light reef environment on Hannibal Bank, 60 kilometers off mainland Pacific Panama, by researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama (STRI) and the Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología (CIMAR) at the University of Costa Rica.
Scientists established the new species, Thesea dalioi, by comparing its physical traits, such as branch thickness and the bright red colony color, with the...
Scientists have succeeded in observing the first long-distance transfer of information in a magnetic group of materials known as antiferromagnets.
An international team of researchers has mapped Nemo's genome, providing the research community with an invaluable resource to decode the response of fish to...
Graphene is considered a promising candidate for the nanoelectronics of the future. In theory, it should allow clock rates up to a thousand times faster than today’s silicon-based electronics. Scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) and the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE), in cooperation with the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P), have now shown for the first time that graphene can actually convert electronic signals with frequencies in the gigahertz range – which correspond to today’s clock rates – extremely efficiently into signals with several times higher frequency. The researchers present their results in the scientific journal “Nature”.
Graphene – an ultrathin material consisting of a single layer of interlinked carbon atoms – is considered a promising candidate for the nanoelectronics of the...
03.09.2018 | Event News
27.08.2018 | Event News
17.08.2018 | Event News
19.09.2018 | Life Sciences
19.09.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
19.09.2018 | Information Technology