The paleoclimatic footprint in the soil carbon stock of the Tibetan permafrost region

Jinzhi Ding, Tao Wang (Corresponding Author), Shilong Piao, Pete Smith, Ganlin Zhang, Zhengjie Yan, Shuai Ren, Dan Liu, Shiping Wang, Shengyun Chen, Fuqiang Dai, Jin-Sheng He, Yingnian Li, Yongwen Liu, Jiafu Mao, Altaf Arain, Hanqin Tian, Xiaoying Shi, Yuanhe Yang, Ning ZengLin Zhao

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Abstract

Tibetan permafrost largely formed during the late Pleistocene glacial period and shrank in the Holocene Thermal Maximum period. Quantifying the impacts of paleoclimatic extremes on soil carbon stock can shed light on the vulnerability of permafrost carbon in the future. Here, we synthesize data from 1114 sites across the Tibetan permafrost region to report that paleoclimate is more important than modern climate in shaping current permafrost carbon distribution, and its importance increases with soil depth, mainly through forming the soil physiochemical properties. We derive a new estimate of modern soil carbon stock to 3 m depth by including the paleoclimate effects, and find that the stock (36.6 -2.4+2.3 PgC) is triple that predicted by ecosystem models (11.5 ± 4.2 s.e.m PgC), which use pre-industrial climate to initialize the soil carbon pool. The discrepancy highlights the urgent need to incorporate paleoclimate information into model initialization for simulating permafrost soil carbon stocks.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4195
JournalNature Communications
Volume10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sep 2019

Keywords

  • carbon cycle
  • cryospheric science
  • paleoclimate
  • STORAGE
  • MATTER
  • CATION-EXCHANGE
  • STABILIZATION
  • CLIMATE-CHANGE
  • MECHANISMS
  • PLATEAU
  • ORGANIC-CARBON
  • DEGRADATION
  • PEDOGENESIS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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    The paleoclimatic footprint in the soil carbon stock of the Tibetan permafrost region

    Ding, J. (Creator), Wang, T. (Creator), Piao, S. (Creator), Smith, P. (Creator), Zhang, G. (Creator), Yan, Z. (Creator), Ren, S. (Creator), Liu, D. (Creator), Wang, S. (Creator), Chen, S. (Creator), Dai, F. (Creator), He, J. (Creator), Liu, Y. (Creator), Mao, J. (Creator), Arain, A. (Creator), Tian, H. (Creator), Shi, X. (Creator), Yang, Y. (Creator), Zeng, N. (Creator) & Zhao, L. (Creator), Figshare, 16 Aug 2019

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    Cite this

    Ding, J., Wang, T., Piao, S., Smith, P., Zhang, G., Yan, Z., Ren, S., Liu, D., Wang, S., Chen, S., Dai, F., He, J-S., Li, Y., Liu, Y., Mao, J., Arain, A., Tian, H., Shi, X., Yang, Y., ... Zhao, L. (2019). The paleoclimatic footprint in the soil carbon stock of the Tibetan permafrost region. Nature Communications, 10, [4195]. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-12214-5