Carbon and geochemical properties of cryosols on the North Slope of Alaska

Cold Regions Science and Technology
By: , and 

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Abstract

Cryosols contain roughly 1700 Gt of Soil organic carbon (SOC) roughly double the carbon content of the atmosphere. As global temperature rises and permafrost thaws, this carbon reservoir becomes vulnerable to microbial decomposition, resulting in greenhouse gas emissions that will amplify anthropogenic warming. Improving our understanding of carbon dynamics in thawing permafrost requires more data on carbon and nitrogen content, soil physical and chemical properties and substrate quality in cryosols. We analyzed five permafrost cores obtained from the North Slope of Alaska during the summer of 2009. The relationship between SOC and soil bulk density can be adequately represented by a logarithmic function. Gas fluxes at − 5 °C and 5 °C were measured to calculate the temperature response quotient (Q10). Q10 and the respiration per unit soil C were higher in permafrost-affected soils than that in the active layer, suggesting that decomposition and heterotrophic respiration in cryosols may contribute more to global warming.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Carbon and geochemical properties of cryosols on the North Slope of Alaska
Series title Cold Regions Science and Technology
DOI 10.1016/j.coldregions.2014.01.001
Volume 100
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Publisher location Amsterdam
Contributing office(s) National Research Program - Central Branch
Description 9 p.
First page 59
Last page 67
Country United States
State Alaska
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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