The effect of permafrost thaw on old carbon release and net carbon exchange from tundra

  title={The effect of permafrost thaw on old carbon release and net carbon exchange from tundra},
  author={Edward. A.G. Schuur and Jason G. Vogel and Kathryn G. Crummer and Hanna Lee and James O. Sickman and Thomas E. Osterkamp},
Permafrost soils in boreal and Arctic ecosystems store almost twice as much carbon as is currently present in the atmosphere. Permafrost thaw and the microbial decomposition of previously frozen organic carbon is considered one of the most likely positive climate feedbacks from terrestrial ecosystems to the atmosphere in a warmer world. The rate of carbon release from permafrost soils is highly uncertain, but it is crucial for predicting the strength and timing of this carbon-cycle feedback… 

Permafrost carbon−climate feedback is sensitive to deep soil carbon decomposability but not deep soil nitrogen dynamics

It is shown that the future carbon balance of the permafrost region is highly sensitive to the decomposability of deeper carbon, with the net balance ranging from 21 Pg C to 164 PG C losses by 2300.

Holocene Carbon Stocks and Carbon Accumulation Rates Altered in Soils Undergoing Permafrost Thaw

Permafrost soils are a significant global store of carbon (C) with the potential to become a large C source to the atmosphere. Climate change is causing permafrost to thaw, which can affect primary

Tundra Underlain By Thawing Permafrost Persistently Emits Carbon to the Atmosphere Over 15 Years of Measurements

Warming of the Arctic can stimulate microbial decomposition and release of permafrost soil carbon (C) as greenhouse gases, and thus has the potential to influence climate change. At the same time,

Direct observation of permafrost degradation and rapid soil carbon loss in tundra

Evidence suggests that 5–15% of the vast pool of soil carbon stored in northern permafrost ecosystems could be emitted as greenhouse gases by 2100 under the current path of global warming. However,

Contribution of permafrost soils to the global carbon budget

Climate warming affects permafrost soil carbon pools in two opposing ways: enhanced vegetation growth leads to higher carbon inputs to the soil, whereas permafrost melting accelerates decomposition

The impacts of recent permafrost thaw on land–atmosphere greenhouse gas exchange

Permafrost thaw and the subsequent mobilization of carbon (C) stored in previously frozen soil organic matter (SOM) have the potential to be a strong positive feedback to climate. As the northern

Assessing the Potential for Mobilization of Old Soil Carbon After Permafrost Thaw: A Synthesis of 14C Measurements From the Northern Permafrost Region

The magnitude of future emissions of greenhouse gases from the northern permafrost region depends crucially on the mineralization of soil organic carbon (SOC) that has accumulated over millennia in

Permafrost carbon-climate feedbacks accelerate global warming

A terrestrial ecosystem model that includespermafrost carbon dynamics, inhibition of respiration in frozen soil layers, vertical mixing of soil carbon from surface to permafrost layers, and CH4 emissions from flooded areas is used, to explore the potential for carbon-climate feedbacks at high latitudes.

Biomarker and carbon isotope constraints (d13C, d14C) on sources and cycling of particulate organic matter discharged by large Siberian rivers draining permafrost areas

Circumpolar permafrost soils store about half of the global soil organic carbon pool. These huge amounts of organic matter (OM) could accumulate due to low temperatures and water saturated soil

The effects of permafrost degradation on soil carbon dynamics in Alaska's boreal region

High-latitude regions store large quantities of organic carbon (C) in permafrost soils and peatlands, accounting for nearly half of the global belowground C pool. Projected climate warming over the



Vulnerability of Permafrost Carbon to Climate Change: Implications for the Global Carbon Cycle

ABSTRACT Thawing permafrost and the resulting microbial decomposition of previously frozen organic carbon (C) is one of the most significant potential feedbacks from terrestrial ecosystems to the

Potential carbon release from permafrost soils of Northeastern Siberia

Permafrost soils are an important reservoir of carbon (C) in boreal and arctic ecosystems. Rising global temperature is expected to enhance decomposition of organic matter frozen in permafrost, and

Permafrost carbon: Stock and decomposability of a globally significant carbon pool

The magnitude of future CO2‐induced climate warming is difficult to predict because of uncertainties in the role of ecosystems and oceans as CO2 sources and sinks. Siberia has extensive areas (1 ×

Recent change of Arctic tundra ecosystems from a net carbon dioxide sink to a source

ARCTIC tundra has been a net sink for carbon dioxide during historic and recent geological times1–4, and large amounts of carbon are stored in the soils of northern ecosystems. Many regions of the

Ecosystem carbon storage in arctic tundra reduced by long-term nutrient fertilization

This study suggests that projected release of soil nutrients associated with high-latitude warming may further amplify carbon release from soils, causing a net loss of ecosystem carbon and a positive feedback to climate warming.

Global Change and the Carbon Balance of Arctic EcosystemsCarbon/nutrient interactions should act as major constraints on changes in global terrestrial carbon cycling

The answer to this question is critical in understanding the effects of warming on the net carbon balance of arctic ecosystems and of the earth itself.

Acclimation of ecosystem CO2 exchange in the Alaskan Arctic in response to decadal climate warming

Summer CO2 flux data for two Arctic ecosystems from 1960 to the end of 1998 shows that a return to summer sink activity has come during the warmest and driest period observed over the past four decades, and indicates a previously undemonstrated capacity for ecosystems to metabolically adjust to long-term changes in climate.

Temperature sensitivity of soil carbon decomposition and feedbacks to climate change

This work has suggested that several environmental constraints obscure the intrinsic temperature sensitivity of substrate decomposition, causing lower observed ‘apparent’ temperature sensitivity, and these constraints may, themselves, be sensitive to climate.

The changing landscape of Canada's western boreal forest: the current dynamics of permafrost.

This paper examines the impact that climatic change over the last millennium has had on aggradation and degradation of permafrost peatlands and the associated change in organic matter accumulation.


Radiocarbon data from soil organic matter and soil respiration provide pow- erful constraints for determining carbon dynamics and thereby the magnitude and timing of soil carbon response to global