Climate-regulating role of Siberian wetlands: a multidisciplinary approach

Lead Author Sergey, Kirpotin
Institution Contact Centre of BIO CLIM LAND, Tomsk State University Lenina 36, Tomsk, Russia
Co-Authors Oleg Pokrovsky, BIO-GEO-CLIM Laboratory, Tomsk State University, Tomsk, Russia Sergey Vorobyev, BIO-GEO-CLIM Laboratory, Tomsk State University, Tomsk, Russia
Theme Theme 1: Vulnerability of Arctic Environments
Session Name 1.3 Siberian Inland Waters: Vulnerability to Global Change and Human Impact
Presentation Type Poster
Abstract text We report on concerted studies the climate-regulating role of western Siberian Lowland (WSL) via multidisciplinary approach that combines natural observations, laboratory experiments, and landscape-level modeling. The environmental context of WSL is extremely important for the biosphere and climate of our planet and highly attractive for Earth scientists for the following four reasons: (i) In the southern part of western Siberia, the bogs are strong CO2 sink from the atmosphere due to higly productive taiga forest and on-going peat formation; (ii) In the northern, permafrost-bearing part of WSL, the bog-lake landscape system contain a lot of frozen organic carbon that is being released to the atmosphere in the form of methane and CO2. Here, highly abundant thermokarst lakes act as important mediator of CO2 flux from the frozen peat to the atmosphere; (iii) WSL contains mostly discontinuous and sporadic permafrost, those temperature is between 0 and -2°C. Unlike continuous permafrost of the rest of Siberia, this permafrost is highly unstable, very vulnerable to even minor climate warming and can produce significant environmental aand economic effects within the next 1 – 2 decades; (iv) Finally, the Ob river is dramatically different from the other Siberian and subarctic rivers because of its huge flood zone. This flood zone represent a “hot spot” in biogeochemical cycles and essentially controls the flux of carbon and metals to the ocean from the full territory of WSL. These environmental factors and processes render western Siberia as absolutely unique indicator of on-going climate change, but it is also strong regulator of CO2/CH4 exchange with the atmosphere. Here, taking the advantage of our unique geographical location, developed infrastructure and accumulated knowledge, we characterize the current status and future changes of WSL mires.