North Siberian Lakes: A Methane Source Fueled by Pleistocene Carbon

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Science  08 Aug 1997:
Vol. 277, Issue 5327, pp. 800-802
DOI: 10.1126/science.277.5327.800

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The sizes of major sources and sinks of atmospheric methane (CH4), an important greenhouse gas, are poorly known. CH4 from north Siberian lakes contributes ∼1.5 teragrams CH4 year−1 to observed winter increases in atmospheric CH4 concentration at high northern latitudes. CH4 emitted from these lakes in winter had a radiocarbon age of 27,200 years and was derived largely from Pleistocene-aged carbon.

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