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The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 9, issue 2
The Cryosphere, 9, 479–486, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-9-479-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Special issue: Interactions between climate change and the Cryosphere: SVALI,...

The Cryosphere, 9, 479–486, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-9-479-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Special issue editorial 06 Mar 2015

Special issue editorial | 06 Mar 2015

Editorial: Organic carbon pools in permafrost regions on the Qinghai–Xizang (Tibetan) Plateau

C. Mu1, T. Zhang1, Q. Wu2, X. Peng1, B. Cao1, X. Zhang1, B. Cao1, and G. Cheng2 C. Mu et al.
  • 1College of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou Gansu 730000, China
  • 2State Key Laboratory of Frozen Soil Engineering, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, CAS, Lanzhou Gansu 730000, China

Abstract. The current Northern Circumpolar Soil Carbon Database did not include organic carbon storage in permafrost regions on the Qinghai–Xizang (Tibetan) Plateau (QXP). In this study, we reported a new estimation of soil organic carbon (SOC) pools in the permafrost regions on the QXP up to 25 m depth using a total of 190 soil profiles. The SOC pools were estimated to be 17.3 ± 5.3 Pg for the 0–1 m depth, 10.6 ± 2.7 Pg for the 1–2 m depth, 5.1 ± 1.4 Pg for the 2–3 m depth and 127.2 ± 37.3 Pg for the layer of 3–25 m depth. The percentage of SOC storage in deep layers (3–25 m) on the QXP (80%) was higher than that (39%) in the yedoma and thermokarst deposits in arctic regions. In total, permafrost regions on the QXP contain approximately 160 ± 87 Pg SOC, of which approximately 132 ± 77 Pg (83%) stores in perennially frozen soils and deposits. Total organic carbon pools in permafrost regions on the QXP was approximately 8.7% of that in northern circumpolar permafrost region. The present study demonstrates that the total organic carbon storage is about 1832 Pg in permafrost regions on northern hemisphere.

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