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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, pp. 633-636. (doi:10.1126/science.1142924).

Record type: Article

Abstract

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.

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Published date: 26 October 2007

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 55250
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/55250
ISSN: 0036-8075
PURE UUID: 0b0955b4-606e-4044-8a19-d638159f9498
ORCID for M.E. Edwards: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3490-6682

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Date deposited: 01 Aug 2008
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 14:33

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Contributors

Author: K.M. Walter
Author: M.E. Edwards ORCID iD
Author: G. Grosse
Author: S.A. Zimov
Author: F.S. Chapin III

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