Deglacial release of petrogenic and permafrost carbon from the Canadian Arctic impacting the carbon cycle


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gesine.mollenhauer [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>The changes in atmospheric <jats:italic>p</jats:italic>CO<jats:sub>2</jats:sub> provide evidence for the release of large amounts of ancient carbon during the last deglaciation. However, the sources and mechanisms that contributed to this process remain unresolved. Here, we present evidence for substantial ancient terrestrial carbon remobilization in the Canadian Arctic following the Laurentide Ice Sheet retreat. Glacial-retreat-induced physical erosion of bedrock has mobilized petrogenic carbon, as revealed by sedimentary records of radiocarbon dates and thermal maturity of organic carbon from the Canadian Beaufort Sea. Additionally, coastal erosion during the meltwater pulses 1a and 1b has remobilized pre-aged carbon from permafrost. Assuming extensive petrogenic organic carbon oxidation during the glacial retreat, a model-based assessment suggests that the combined processes have contributed 12 ppm to the deglacial CO<jats:sub>2</jats:sub> rise. Our findings suggest potentially positive climate feedback of ice-sheet retreat by accelerating terrestrial organic carbon remobilization and subsequent oxidation during the glacial-interglacial transition.</jats:p>



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Eprint ID
57562
DOI 10.1038/s41467-022-34725-4

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Wu, J. , Mollenhauer, G. , Stein, R. , Köhler, P. , Hefter, J. , Fahl, K. , Grotheer, H. , Wei, B. and Nam, S. I. (2022): Deglacial release of petrogenic and permafrost carbon from the Canadian Arctic impacting the carbon cycle , Nature Communications, 13 (1), p. 7172 . doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-34725-4


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