Research press release


Nature Geoscience

Carbon uptake in Tibetan permafrost soils



Yuanhue Uangたちは、2000年代初期と再度2010年代初期にチベット高原全体の永久凍土中の炭素保存量を測定した。彼らは地表直下の土壌中に保存された炭素は、高原が温暖化を被った時期に時間と共に増加していたことを発見した。彼らは、炭素保存量が増加したのは、おそらく気候変動がこの地域の植物の成長を強化したことの結果であると示唆している。


Climate change is leading to increased carbon uptake in upper layers of permafrost soils in the Tibetan Plateau, according to a study published online this week in Nature Geoscience. The study suggests that carbon sequestration in these upper layers may help to offset carbon released from deeper layers of permafrost that is now thawing.

Large amounts of carbon have been stored in frozen permafrost soils for thousands of years, including in the Tibetan Plateau, which has the largest extent of alpine permafrost in the world. Warming temperatures have been shown to thaw permafrost and release some of this carbon to the atmosphere. However, the effects of warming on the balance of carbon uptake and loss in permafrost regions in recent decades remain unclear.

Yuanhue Yang and colleagues measured soil carbon stocks in permafrost across the Tibetan Plateau in the early 2000s and again in the early 2010s. They find that the amount of carbon stored in soil layers just below the surface increased over time, during a period when the plateau experienced warming. They suggest that the increase in carbon stocks is probably the result of climate-change-enhanced vegetation growth in the region.

This accumulation of carbon in Tibetan Plateau permafrost soils represents a negative feedback to rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations, which could help slow the pace of climate change.

doi: 10.1038/ngeo2945


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