Thermokarst Lakes as a Source of Atmospheric CH4 During the Last Deglaciation

Walter, K.M., Edwards, M.E., Grosse, G., Zimov, S.A. and Chapin III, F.S. (2007) Thermokarst Lakes as a Source of Atmospheric CH4 During the Last Deglaciation. Science, 318, 633-636. (doi:10.1126/science.1142924).


Full text not available from this repository.

Original Publication URL:


Polar ice-core records suggest that an arctic or boreal source was responsible for more than 30% of
the large increase in global atmospheric methane (CH4) concentration during deglacial climate
warming; however, specific sources of that CH4 are still debated. Here we present an estimate of
past CH4 flux during deglaciation from bubbling from thermokarst (thaw) lakes. Based on high
rates of CH4 bubbling from contemporary arctic thermokarst lakes, high CH4 production potentials
of organic matter from Pleistocene-aged frozen sediments, and estimates of the changing extent of
these deposits as thermokarst lakes developed during deglaciation, we find that CH4 bubbling from
newly forming thermokarst lakes comprised 33 to 87% of the high-latitude increase in
atmospheric methane concentration and, in turn, contributed to the climate warming at the
Pleistocene-Holocene transition.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1126/science.1142924
ISSNs: 0036-8075 (print)
Related URLs:
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GB Physical geography
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Geography > Environmental Processes and Change
ePrint ID: 55250
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
26 October 2007Published
Date Deposited: 01 Aug 2008
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:35

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item