Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Arctic inland waters emit large amounts of carbon

Date:
January 23, 2014
Source:
Umea University
Summary:
Streams and lakes of Northern Sweden are hotspots for emissions of carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere, according to new research.

Geoscientist Erik Lundin shows in his thesis that streams and lakes of Northern Sweden are hotspots for emissions of carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere. Erik defends his findings at Umeε University on Friday 31 January.

"Especially small streams, which in this study accounted for only about four percent of the investigated water systems, turned out to be particularly important by releasing about ten times as much carbon as lakes," says Erik Lundin. "The reason for this is that streams generally have high concentrations of carbon dioxide, but also because they are turbulent which promotes exchange of gases with the atmosphere."

One of the greatest challenges of our time is to understand the effects of future climate change and its underlying causes. This requires more knowledge of the global carbon cycle, but also how it is affected by a changing climate.

Erik Lundin shows in his study that lakes release a large portion of their carbon dioxide and methane in connection with thaw. It is partly because organic materials that decompose in the lakes in the winter form dissolved carbon dioxide and methane which is then trapped under the ice. When the ice breaks up in the spring these dissolved gases are released, sometimes as quickly as within a few days.

The study also shows that two thirds of catchment carbon loss is through lakes and streams, either through emissions into the atmosphere, but also as dissolved organic and inorganic carbon, which are transported by rivers downstream.

Although the lakes emit carbon into the atmosphere, carbon is also captured and long-term stored in thick layers of sediment at the lake floors through the accumulation of organic material. Erik Lundin made a detailed study on lake emissions relative to the accumulation of carbon by comparing six arctic lakes with literature data.

The results shows that Arctic lakes are more efficient carbon sequestrators than warmer boreal lakes. It indicates that with a warmer climate northern lakes will reduce their coal storage ability and we can expect larger emissions of carbon dioxide and methane from our northernmost lakes.

Although it has long been known that inland waters are atmospheric sources of carbon dioxide and methane, as well as burying carbon in sediments, they are often overlooked in regional carbon budgets. These budgets are estimated to be able to make good estimates of the amount of carbon in various geographical areas, to show existing quantities as well as changes over time.

Practical significance of the results

"It can be concluded that by ignoring the inland waters in regional carbon budgets, one overestimates the landscape carbon sequestration. This knowledge is important when making predictions of the future climate, but also for estimating the climate's feedback effects on the carbon cycle, " says Erik Lundin.

Erik Lundin grew up in Hδrnφsand. His undergraduate studies were conducted at Umeε University, including one year as an ex


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Umea University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Umea University. "Arctic inland waters emit large amounts of carbon." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140123125832.htm>.
Umea University. (2014, January 23). Arctic inland waters emit large amounts of carbon. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140123125832.htm
Umea University. "Arctic inland waters emit large amounts of carbon." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140123125832.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) — Operators of recreational businesses on western reservoirs worry that ongoing drought concerns will keep boaters and other visitors from flocking to the popular summer attractions. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — Andy Dixon showed the Daily Mail a screenshot of what he believes to be the mythical beast swimming just below the lake's surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ark. Man Finds 6-Carat Diamond At State Park

Ark. Man Finds 6-Carat Diamond At State Park

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — An Arkansas man has found a nearly 6.2-carat diamond, which he dubbed "The Limitless Diamond," at the Crater of Diamonds State Park. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins