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Strong climate impact on the carbon emission – burial balance inhigh latitude lakes
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
Department of Thematic Studies–Water and Environmental Studies, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Lakes play an important role in the global carbon (C) cycle by burying C in sediments and emitting CO2 and CH4 to the atmosphere. The strengths of these fundamentally different pathways are critical for quantifying effects of lakes upon the climate system. In this study, based on new high-resolution estimates in combination with literature data, we show a generally ten times higher emission:burial ratio in boreal compared to subarctic-arctic lakes. These results suggest a major bioclimatic impact on C cycling in lakes, as lakes in warmer boreal regions emit more and store relatively less C than lakes in colder arctic regions. Thus, our results reveal a previously unforeseen longterm climate feedback: if predictions of the northward expansion of the boreal biome are correct, C emissions of high latitude lakes may increase four-fold, corresponding to 14% of present global lake C evasion to the atmosphere. Such effects are of major importance for understanding feedbacks of climate warming on the continental source-sink function at high latitudes

 

 

National Category
Geosciences, Multidisciplinary
Research subject
Earth Sciences with Specialization Environmental Analysis; Limnology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-84499OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-84499DiVA: diva2:684920
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 621-385 2008-4390
Note

Submitted

Available from: 2014-01-08 Created: 2014-01-08 Last updated: 2014-01-09
In thesis
1. The role of inland waters in the carbon cycle at high latitudes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The role of inland waters in the carbon cycle at high latitudes
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Understanding the drivers of climate change requires knowledge about the global carbon (C) cycle. Although inland waters play an important role in the C cycle by emitting and burying C, streams and lakes are in general overlooked in bottom-up approached C budgets. In this thesis I estimated emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) from all lakes and streams in a 15 km2 subarctic catchment in northern Sweden, and put it in relation to the total catchment C exchange. I show that high-latitude aquatic systems in general and streams in particular are hotspots for C emission to the atmosphere. Annually, the aquatic systems surveyed in this study emitted about 10.8 ± 4.9 g C m-2 yr-1 (ca. 98 % as CO2) which is more than double the amount of the C laterally exported from the catchment. Although the streams only covered about 4% of the total aquatic area they emitted ca. 95% of the total aquatic C emission. For lake emissions, the ice break-ups were the most important annual events, counting for ca. 45% of the emissions. Overall, streams dominated the aquatic CO2 emission in the catchment while lakes dominated CH4 emission, 96 % and 62 % of the totals, respectively. When summing terrestrial and aquatic C fluxes together it showed that the aquatic emissions alone account for approximately two thirds of the total annual catchment C loss. The consequence of not including inland waters in bottom-up derived C budgets is therefore a risk of overestimating the sink capacity of the subarctic landscape. However, aquatic systems can also act as C sinks, by accumulating C in sediment and thereby storing C over geological time frames. Sediment C burial rates were estimated in six lakes from a chronology based on 210Pb dating of multiple sediment cores. The burial rate ranged between 5 - 25 g C m-2 yr-1, which is of the same magnitude as lake C emissions. I show that the emission:burial ratio is about ten times higher in boreal compared to in subarctic-arctic lakes. These results indicate that the balance between lakes C emission and burial is both directly and indirectly dependent on climate. This process will likely result in a future increase of C emissions from high-latitude lakes, while the C burial capacity of these same lakes sediments weaken.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2014. 17 p.
Keyword
lakes, streams, carbon (C), carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), boreal, sub-arctic, arctic, emission, sediments, burial, budget
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Limnology; Earth Sciences with Specialization Environmental Analysis; Physical Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-84541 (URN)978-91-7459-781-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-01-31, KBC - huset, Stora hörsalen, (KB3B1), Umeå Universitet, Umeå, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 621-385 2008-4390
Available from: 2014-01-10 Created: 2014-01-08 Last updated: 2016-11-14Bibliographically approved

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Lundin, ErikKlaminder, JonatanOlid, CarolinaHansson, SophiaKarlsson, Jan

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