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Carbon Emissions from Western Siberian Inland Waters
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Inland waters (i.e. rivers, streams, lakes, ponds) emit carbon (C) into the atmosphere. The magnitude of global inland water C emission has been estimated to equal the global ocean C sink, thus making inland waters an important component of the global C cycle. Yet, the data used in estimating the magnitude of global inland water C emission lacks measurements of inland water C emissions from permafrost-affected regions in general and from Russia in particular, despite permafrost covering ~25% of the Northern Hemisphere and ~65% of Russia. This lack of data questions the accuracy of the current estimate of global inland water C emission and its predictive power in assessing changes in the global C cycle following permafrost thaw.

In this thesis, we conducted detailed measurements of river and lake C emissions across ~1000 km permafrost gradient of Western Siberia (from permafrost-free to continuous permafrost zone) and assessed the magnitude of the total C emission from Western Siberian inland waters. We found that river and lake C emissions varied across the permafrost gradient with river C emissions being greatest in areas where permafrost is actively degrading, and lake C emissions being greatest in areas where permafrost is still intact. We also found that river and lake C emissions are likely driven by different factors with river C emissions being mainly controlled by temperature and hydrological conditions, whereas lake C emissions by sediment respiration and availability of recently thawed organic C. Further, we estimated the total C emission from Western Siberian inland waters to be greater than previously thought and exceeding the C export from this region to the Arctic Ocean. Such finding implies that a major part of the terrestrially-derived C is lost in Western Siberian inland waters, making this region a hotspot for inland water C emission following permafrost thaw. We also showed that apart from C emissions measurements across different inland water types and across the landscape, estimates of inland water surface areas are needed for accurate assessments of the total inland water C emission of any given region. Particularly, water surface areas of streams and ponds as well as inundated floodplains, especially in years of extreme flood events, are important for quantifying the total inland water C emission. Overall, this thesis presents new data related to C emissions from rivers and lakes in an area that undergoes rapid permafrost thaw, and urges to account for all inland water types and their respective water surface areas when attempting to achieve unbiased estimates of the inland water contribution to the atmospheric C budget.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University , 2019. , p. 29
Keywords [en]
carbon, carbon dioxide, methane, carbon emissions, river, lake, inland waters, permafrost, Siberia
National Category
Environmental Sciences Physical Geography
Research subject
Limnology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-162581ISBN: 978-91-7855-107-1 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-162581DiVA, id: diva2:1345054
Public defence
2019-09-27, Stora Hörsalen, KBC huset, Linnaeus väg 6, Umeå, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-09-06 Created: 2019-08-22 Last updated: 2019-09-02Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. High riverine CO2 emissions at the permafrost boundary of Western Siberia
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2018 (English)In: Nature Geoscience, ISSN 1752-0894, E-ISSN 1752-0908, Vol. 11, no 11, p. 825-+Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The fate of the vast stocks of organic carbon stored in permafrost of the Western Siberian Lowland, the world's largest peat-land, is uncertain. Specifically, the amount of greenhouse gas emissions from rivers in the region is unknown. Here we present estimates of annual CO2 emissions from 58 rivers across all permafrost zones of the Western Siberian Lowland, between 56 and 67 degrees N. We find that emissions peak at the permafrost boundary, and decrease where permafrost is more prevalent and in colder climatic conditions. River CO2 emissions were high, and on average two times greater than downstream carbon export. We suggest that high emissions and emission/export ratios are a result of warm temperatures and the long transit times of river water. We show that rivers in the Western Siberian Lowland play an important role in the carbon cycle by degassing terrestrial carbon before its transport to the Arctic Ocean, and suggest that changes in both temperature and precipitation are important for understanding and predicting high-latitude river CO2 emissions in a changing climate.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Nature Publishing Group, 2018
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-153694 (URN)10.1038/s41561-018-0218-1 (DOI)000448672100007 ()
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 325-2014-6898
Available from: 2018-12-05 Created: 2018-12-05 Last updated: 2019-08-22Bibliographically approved
2. High carbon emissions from thermokarst lakes of Western Siberia
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2019 (English)In: Nature Communications, ISSN 2041-1723, E-ISSN 2041-1723, Vol. 10, article id 1552Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Western Siberia Lowland (WSL), the world's largest permafrost peatland, is of importance for understanding the high-latitude carbon (C) cycle and its response to climate change. Warming temperatures increase permafrost thaw and production of greenhouse gases. Also, permafrost thaw leads to the formation of lakes which are hotspots for atmospheric C emissions. Although lakes occupy similar to 6% of WSL, lake C emissions from WSL remain poorly quantified. Here we show high C emissions from lakes across all permafrost zones of WSL. The C emissions were especially high in shoulder seasons and in colder permafrost-rich regions. The total C emission from permafrost-affected lakes of WSL equals similar to 12 +/- 2.6 Tg C yr(-1) and is 2-times greater than region's C export to the Arctic coast. The results show that C emission from WSL lakes is a significant component in the high-latitude C cycle, but also suggest that C emission may decrease with warming.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Nature Publishing Group, 2019
National Category
Climate Research
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-158728 (URN)10.1038/s41467-019-09592-1 (DOI)000463313200028 ()30948722 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2019-05-21 Created: 2019-05-21 Last updated: 2019-08-22Bibliographically approved
3. Carbon emission from Western Siberian Inland Waters
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Western Siberia, with large carbon (C) stocks stored in permafrost, is a key region in the global C cycle. This region contains numerous rivers and lakes, including Arctic’s largest watershed – the Ob’ River, yet the role of inland waters in the regional C cycle is unknown. Here we quantify C emission from Western Siberian inland waters to ~0.1 ± 0.01 Pg C yr-1. The C emission exceeds region’s C export to the Arctic ocean by ~9-fold suggesting that any increase in region’s terrestrial C export will be largely evaded through inland waters and highlighting the need to account for coupled land-water C cycle to understand its response to warming.

Keywords
carbon, carbon emissions, inland waters, permafrost, Western Siberia
National Category
Environmental Sciences Physical Geography
Research subject
Limnology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-162570 (URN)
Available from: 2019-08-22 Created: 2019-08-22 Last updated: 2019-08-22
4. Carbon emission from the boreal floodplain of Ob’ River
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Carbon emission from the boreal floodplain of Ob’ River
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The Ob’ River floodplain is the second largest floodplain in the world. Despite its vast area, estimates of carbon (C) emissions from the Ob’ River floodplain are largely absent. Here we present seasonal C emission and water area extent from the main channel and the floodplain along a ~4 km reach in the boreal zone of the Ob’ River. We find strong seasonality in water area extent of the Ob’ main channel (~1.8 km2) and floodplain (~3 km2) with water covering 34% of land during flood and subsequently declining to ~16 and 14% during summer and autumn baseflow, respectively. The C emissions also showed seasonal differences over the open water period ranging from 4.66 to -4.25 g C m-2 d-1 for the Ob’ main channel and from 0.03 to 1.42 g C m-2 d-1 for the floodplain. The total annual C emission from the study reach was ~940 ± 744 t C yr-1 with the floodplain accounting for ~16%. The contribution of the floodplain to the net river C evasion can be even greater in northern regions of the Ob’ River basin, where floodplain soils are more C-rich and are underlain by permafrost, and in years with more extensive flooding.

Keywords
carbon, carbon emissions, inland waters, floodpain, Western Siberia, Ob River
National Category
Environmental Sciences Physical Geography
Research subject
Limnology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-162580 (URN)
Available from: 2019-08-22 Created: 2019-08-22 Last updated: 2019-09-02

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Serikova, Svetlana

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