SOURCE: AAAS (EurekAlert)

DATE: February 1, 2018

SNIP: A new Canadian study has found that carbon released by some ponds in the High Arctic could potentially be a hidden source of greenhouse gas emissions.

The study looked at how dissolved organic carbon (DOC) stored in Arctic permafrost – which is thawing at an accelerated rate due to climate change – is being released into Arctic watersheds as a result of physical disturbances that relocate nutrients across the landscape. For the first-time researchers were able to determine that the chemical composition of carbon in these ponds is vastly different than in rivers in the High Arctic.

“These ponds in the High Arctic seem to be hotspots for DOC degradation,” says Myrna Simpson, Professor of Environmental Science at U of T Scarborough and co-author of the research.

“Very little consideration has been given to what’s happening with DOC in these ponds that are all over the Arctic, and it could potentially be a source of CO2 emissions released into the atmosphere with these disturbances.”