MetTrans Siberia blog

Lena River

Trace metal and carbon mobilisation in Arctic rivers

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In May 2015, an expedition to sample the Lena River (Siberia) during the spring flood will be undertaken by Mel Murphy (University of Oxford), Don Porcelli (University of Oxford), Catherine Hirst (Swedish Museum of Natural History) and Per Andersson (Swedish Museum of Natural History). Significant mobilisation of trace elements and carbon is expected during the high discharge freshet as snow melt waters percolate the organic-rich permafrost active layer.  The thawing of permafrost has the potential to influence the Earth’s climate feedback cycles through the release of carbon trapped within permafrost into the atmosphere – accelerating climate warming.