Reports

Dynamics of Soil Carbon During Deglaciation of the Laurentide Ice Sheet

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Science  18 Dec 1992:
Vol. 258, Issue 5090, pp. 1921-1924
DOI: 10.1126/science.258.5090.1921

Abstract

Deglaciation of the Laurentide Ice Sheet in North America was accompanied by sequestration of organic carbon in newly exposed soils. The greatest rate of land exposure occurred around 12,000 to 8,000 years ago, and the greatest increase in the rate of carbon sequestration by soils occurred from 8,000 to 4,000 years ago. Sequestration of carbon in deglaciated peat lands continues today, and a steady state has not been reached. The natural rate of carbon sequestration in soils, however, is small relative to the rate of anthropogenic carbon dioxide production.