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Old carbon reservoirs were not important in the deglacial methane budget

TitleOld carbon reservoirs were not important in the deglacial methane budget
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsDyonisius M.N, Petrenko VV, Smith A.M, Hua Q., Yang B, Schmitt J., Beck J., Seth B., Bock M., Hmiel B., Vimont I., Menking J.A, Shackleton S.A, Baggenstos D, Bauska T.K, Rhodes R.H, Sperlich P., Beaudette R., Harth C, Kalk M., Brook E.J, Fischer H., Severinghaus JP, Weiss RF
Date Published2020/02
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0036-8075
Accession NumberWOS:000515235800043
Keywords(co)-c-14 production; atmospheric methane; ch4 emissions; climate-change; fossil-fuel; greenland; ice-core; last glacial termination; permafrost carbon; Science & Technology - Other Topics; situ cosmogenic (ch4)-c-14; Taylor Glacier

Permafrost and methane hydrates are large, climate-sensitive old carbon reservoirs that have the potential to emit large quantities of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, as the Earth continues to warm. We present ice core isotopic measurements of methane (Delta C-14, delta C-13, and delta D) from the last deglaciation, which is a partial analog for modern warming. Our results show that methane emissions from old carbon reservoirs in response to deglacial warming were small (<19 teragrams of methane per year, 95% confidence interval) and argue against similar methane emissions in response to future warming. Our results also indicate that methane emissions from biomass burning in the pre-Industrial Holocene were 22 to 56 teragrams of methane per year (95% confidence interval), which is comparable to today.

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