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      UK peatland streams release old carbon dioxide to the atmosphere and young dissolved organic carbon to rivers : PEATLAND STREAMS

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      Geophysical Research Letters

      American Geophysical Union (AGU)

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          Discussion Reporting of 14C Data

          Count rates, representing the rate of 14C decay, are the basic data obtained in a 14C laboratory. The conversion of this information into an age or geochemical parameters appears a simple matter at first. However, the path between counting and suitable 14C data reporting (table 1) causes headaches to many. Minor deflections in pathway, depending on personal interpretations, are possible and give end results that are not always useful for inter-laboratory comparisons. This discussion is an attempt to identify some of these problems and to recommend certain procedures by which reporting ambiguities can be avoided.
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            Outgassing from Amazonian rivers and wetlands as a large tropical source of atmospheric CO2.

            Terrestrial ecosystems in the humid tropics play a potentially important but presently ambiguous role in the global carbon cycle. Whereas global estimates of atmospheric CO2 exchange indicate that the tropics are near equilibrium or are a source with respect to carbon, ground-based estimates indicate that the amount of carbon that is being absorbed by mature rainforests is similar to or greater than that being released by tropical deforestation (about 1.6 Gt C yr-1). Estimates of the magnitude of carbon sequestration are uncertain, however, depending on whether they are derived from measurements of gas fluxes above forests or of biomass accumulation in vegetation and soils. It is also possible that methodological errors may overestimate rates of carbon uptake or that other loss processes have yet to be identified. Here we demonstrate that outgassing (evasion) of CO2 from rivers and wetlands of the central Amazon basin constitutes an important carbon loss process, equal to 1.2 +/- 0.3 Mg C ha-1 yr-1. This carbon probably originates from organic matter transported from upland and flooded forests, which is then respired and outgassed downstream. Extrapolated across the entire basin, this flux-at 0.5 Gt C yr-1-is an order of magnitude greater than fluvial export of organic carbon to the ocean. From these findings, we suggest that the overall carbon budget of rainforests, summed across terrestrial and aquatic environments, appears closer to being in balance than would be inferred from studies of uplands alone.
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              Methane bubbling from Siberian thaw lakes as a positive feedback to climate warming.

              Large uncertainties in the budget of atmospheric methane, an important greenhouse gas, limit the accuracy of climate change projections. Thaw lakes in North Siberia are known to emit methane, but the magnitude of these emissions remains uncertain because most methane is released through ebullition (bubbling), which is spatially and temporally variable. Here we report a new method of measuring ebullition and use it to quantify methane emissions from two thaw lakes in North Siberia. We show that ebullition accounts for 95 per cent of methane emissions from these lakes, and that methane flux from thaw lakes in our study region may be five times higher than previously estimated. Extrapolation of these fluxes indicates that thaw lakes in North Siberia emit 3.8 teragrams of methane per year, which increases present estimates of methane emissions from northern wetlands (< 6-40 teragrams per year; refs 1, 2, 4-6) by between 10 and 63 per cent. We find that thawing permafrost along lake margins accounts for most of the methane released from the lakes, and estimate that an expansion of thaw lakes between 1974 and 2000, which was concurrent with regional warming, increased methane emissions in our study region by 58 per cent. Furthermore, the Pleistocene age (35,260-42,900 years) of methane emitted from hotspots along thawing lake margins indicates that this positive feedback to climate warming has led to the release of old carbon stocks previously stored in permafrost.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Geophysical Research Letters
                Geophys. Res. Lett.
                American Geophysical Union (AGU)
                00948276
                December 16 2007
                December 16 2007
                : 34
                : 23
                : n/a
                Article
                10.1029/2007GL031797
                © 2007

                http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/tdm_license_1.1

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