Recent warming in Siberia is liberating carbon that had been locked in the permafrost for millennia. Consequently, Siberian lakes are making a surprisingly large contribution to atmospheric methane, a planet-warming greenhouse gas, according to a new analysis of the methane bubbling from those lakes.
Previous studies had suggested that most northern Siberian lakes sit atop permafrost containing rich soil. Methane-making microbes in the oxygen-poor lake-bottom sediments render the lakes major methane sources, says Katey M. Walter, an ecologist at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks.
Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.