University of Oulu

Serikova, S., Pokrovsky, O., Ala-Aho, P., Kazantsev, V., Kirpotin, S., Kopysov, S., Krickov, I., Laudon, H., Manasypov, R., Shirokova, L., Soulsby, C., Tetzlaff, D., Karlsson, J. (2018) High riverine CO2 emissions at the permafrost boundary of Western Siberia. Nature Geoscience, 11 (11), 825-829. doi:10.1038/s41561-018-0218-1

High riverine CO₂ emissions at the permafrost boundary of Western Siberia

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Author: Serikova, S.1; Pokrovsky, O.S.2; Ala-Aho, P.3,4;
Organizations: 1Climate Impacts Research Centre (CIRC), Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, Umeå University, Linnaeus väg 6, 901 87 Umeå, Sweden
2GET UMR 5563 CNRS, Geoscience and Environment, University of Toulouse, 14 Avenue Edouard Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France
3University of Aberdeen, Kings College, Old Aberdeen, AB24 3UE Aberdeen, Scotland
4Water Resources and Environmental Engineering Research Unit, Faculty of Technology, University of Oulu, PO Box 4300, 900 14 Oulu, Finland
5Organization of the Russian Academy of Sciences A.M. Obukhov Institute of Atmospheric Physics RAS, Pyzhyovskiy pereulok 3, 119 017 Moscow, Russia
6BIO-GEO-CLIM Laboratory, Tomsk State University, Lenina 36, 634 050 Tomsk, Russia
7Institute of Monitoring of Climatic and Ecological Systems (IMCES) SB RAS, Akademichesky Avenue 10/3, 634 055, Tomsk, Russia
8Department of Forest Ecology and Management, The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Skogsmarksgränd 17, 901 83 Umeå, Sweden
9N. Laverov Federal Center for Integrated Arctic Research, IEPS, Russian Academy of Sciences, 23 Nab. Sev. Dviny, Arkhangelsk, Russia
10IGB Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, Müggelseedamm 310, 125 87 Berlin, Germany
11Humboldt University Berlin, Unter den Linden 6, 100 99 Berlin, Germany
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2018
Publish Date: 2019-03-03


The fate of the vast stocks of organic carbon stored in permafrost of the Western Siberian Lowland, the world’s largest peatland, is uncertain. Specifically, the amount of greenhouse gas emissions from rivers in the region is unknown. Here we present estimates of annual CO₂ emissions from 58 rivers across all permafrost zones of the Western Siberian Lowland, between 56 and 67° N. We find that emissions peak at the permafrost boundary, and decrease where permafrost is more prevalent and in colder climatic conditions. River CO₂ emissions were high, and on average two times greater than downstream carbon export. We suggest that high emissions and emission/export ratios are a result of warm temperatures and the long transit times of river water. We show that rivers in the Western Siberian Lowland play an important role in the carbon cycle by degassing terrestrial carbon before its transport to the Arctic Ocean, and suggest that changes in both temperature and precipitation are important for understanding and predicting high-latitude river CO₂ emissions in a changing climate.

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Series: Nature geoscience
ISSN: 1752-0894
ISSN-E: 1752-0908
ISSN-L: 1752-0894
Volume: 11
Pages: 825 - 829
DOI: 10.1038/s41561-018-0218-1
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1171 Geosciences
1172 Environmental sciences
218 Environmental engineering
Funding: The study was part of the JPI Climate initiative, financially supported by VR (the Swedish Research Council) grant no. 325-2014-6898 to J.K. Additional funding from RNF (RSCF) grant no. 18-17-00237, RFBR grant no. 17-55-16008 and RF Federal Target Program RFMEFI58717X0036 ‘Kolmogorov’ to O.S.P. and S.N.K. as well as NERC grant no. NE/M019896/1 to C.S. is acknowledged.
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