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Ice sheets matter for the global carbon cycle

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

  • J. L. Wadham
  • J. R. Hawkings
  • L. Tarasov
  • L. J. Gregoire
  • R. G.M. Spencer
  • M. Gutjahr
  • A. Ridgwell
  • K. E. Kohfeld
Original languageEnglish
Article number3567 (2019)
Number of pages17
JournalNature Communications
Volume10
DOIs
DateAccepted/In press - 9 Jul 2019
DatePublished (current) - 15 Aug 2019

Abstract

The cycling of carbon on Earth exerts a fundamental influence upon the greenhouse gas content of the atmosphere, and hence global climate over millennia. Until recently, ice sheets were viewed as inert components of this cycle and largely disregarded in global models. Research in the past decade has transformed this view, demonstrating the existence of uniquely adapted microbial communities, high rates of biogeochemical/physical weathering in ice sheets and storage and cycling of organic carbon (>104 Pg C) and nutrients. Here we assess the active role of ice sheets in the global carbon cycle and potential ramifications of enhanced melt and ice discharge in a warming world.

    Research areas

  • Biogeochemistry, Carbon cycle, Cryospheric science

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    Rights statement: This is the final published version of the article (version of record). It first appeared online via Springer Nature at https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-11394-4. Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Final published version, 1.87 MB, PDF document

    Licence: CC BY

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