Navigation Links
Alpine glaciers contribute to carbon cycling
Date:9/17/2012

This press release is available in German.

An international collaboration led by Tom Battin from the Department of Limnology of the University of Vienna unravels the role of Alpine glaciers for carbon cycling. The scientists uncover the unexpected biogeochemical complexity of dissolved organic matter locked in glaciers and study its fate for carbon cycling in glacier-fed streams. Their paper, now published in Nature Geoscience, expands current knowledge on the importance of the vanishing cryosphere for biogeochemistry.

Glaciers are receding worldwide with noticeable implications for the hydrological cycle, including sea-level rise. The potential role of glaciers in the carbon cycle remains poorly understood.

An international research team led by Tom J. Battin, Department of Limnology, at the University of Vienna has been able to unravel the biogeochemical complexity of dissolved organic matter in 26 glaciers in the Austrian Alps. Gabriel A. Singer, in collaboration with researchers from Germany (Thorsten Dittmar, Jutta Niggemann), used ultra-high resolution mass spectrometry to identify thousands of organic compounds locked in the glacial ice. Christina Fasching, together with Peter Steier, Faculty of Physics, Vienna Environmental Research Accelerator, estimated the radiocarbon age of the ice-locked organic carbon at several thousand years. She also determined the bioavailability of ice-locked organic carbon for microbial heterotrophs in the glacier-fed streams. For the first time, the researchers were able to relate, at the compound-specific level, radiocarbon age and carbon bioavailability to distinct molecular groups.

The researchers found that the biogeochemistry of the glacier organic matter is unexpectedly diverse. Phenolic compounds derived from vascular plants or soil dominate, together with peptides and lipids, potentially derived from microorganisms dwelling in glacial ice. Combustion products from fossil fuel, in contrast, seem to contribute only marginally to glacial organic matter. A significant fraction of this plant-derived compounds - although several thousand years old - is bioavailable. This finding runs counter to logical perceptions of known relationships between age and bioavailability of organic matter, and highlights glaciers as "freezers" that preserve organic matter as resource to microbial heterotrophs.

Upon release, glacial organic matter may stimulate the heterotrophic metabolism in glacier-fed streams otherwise often devoid of energy sources. Intriguingly, microorganisms in glacier-fed streams may thus respire ancient organic carbon that ultimately leaves the streams as carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. These findings shed new light on the role of mountain glaciers in the carbon cycle.


'/>"/>

Contact: Tom J. Battin
tom.battin@univie.ac.at
43-142-775-7200
University of Vienna
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Alpine Fault study shows new evidence for regular magnitude 8 earthquakes
2. Old aerial photos supply new knowledge on glaciers in Greenland
3. Analysis of speed of Greenland glaciers gives new insight for rising sea level
4. Melting glaciers, enough sand to bury London, and ancient ecosystem engineering
5. Chemical exposure in the womb from household items may contribute to obesity
6. 23andMe contributes to genetic discoveries related to male pattern baldness
7. Beetle-infested pine trees contribute more to air pollution and haze in forests
8. Breast-fed babies gut microbes contribute to healthy immune systems
9. High levels of TRAIL protein in breast milk might contribute to anticancer activity
10. Researchers develop rapid method to measure carbon footprints
11. Plants fungi allies may not help store climate changes extra carbon
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Alpine glaciers contribute to carbon cycling
(Date:4/19/2017)... 2017 The global military biometrics ... marked by the presence of several large global players. ... five major players - 3M Cogent, NEC Corporation, M2SYS ... nearly 61% of the global military biometric market in ... global military biometrics market boast global presence, which has ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... , April 13, 2017 UBM,s Advanced Design ... will feature emerging and evolving technology through its ... Summits will run alongside the expo portion of the ... panels and demonstrations focused on trending topics within 3D ... design and manufacturing event will take place June 13-15, 2017 ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... 11, 2017 Research and Markets has announced ... report to their offering. ... global eye tracking market to grow at a CAGR of 30.37% ... Tracking Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based on an in-depth market ... landscape and its growth prospects over the coming years. The report ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... May 24, 2017 , ... ... as treasurer for the Mid-Atlantic chapter of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association ... , The HBA Mid-Atlantic chapter board meets in person once each quarter and ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... May 24, 2017 , ... ... increasingly being developed with Wi-Fi connectivity to reduce the amount of wiring in ... room. In addition, compact mobile devices including infusion pumps, heart and hypertension monitoring, ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 23, 2017 , ... ... cells for research and the development of cardiac regeneration therapies. The development ... numbers of cardiomyocytes (hPSC-CMs). Due to varying differentiation efficiencies, further enrichment of ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... , ... Vortex Biosciences , provider of circulating tumor cell (CTC) capture ... using Vortex microfluidic technology ” in Nature Precision Oncology on May 8th. The ... and Dr. Matthew Rettig at the University of California, Los Angeles. The publication describes ...
Breaking Biology Technology: