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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  News & Events  /  News  /  News Archive  /  July 2012  /  Lakes and the Arctic carbon cycle

Lakes and the Arctic carbon cycle

Major new NERC grant for Viv Jones

Lakes and the Arctic carbon cycle

Dr Viv Jones is the UCL co-investigator on a new NERC-funded project Lakes and the Arctic carbon cycle and has been awarded £230,000 to investigate the role of lake sediments in carbon processing in The Arctic.

A crucial aspect of the impact of global warming on the carbon cycle is how terrestrial biogeochemical cycling will respond to future climate change. Lakes are a key component of terrestrial carbon cycling, since they process large amounts of carbon per unit area, particularly in the Arctic. Productivity in lakes, and hence carbon sequestration, is assumed to increase with climate warming, but this view typically ignores catchment change.

The project will investigate how lakes react to large-scale changes in catchment vegetation and nitrogen cycling, and whether changes in dominant vegetation lead to greater lake productivity or alternatively promote heterotrophy and CO2 release. The project will analyse fossil remains from lake sediments at three different locations in the Arctic (Alaska, Greenland, Russia) to determine the effect of terrestrial vegetation change on both carbon processing by lake ecosystems and aquatic biodiversity during the Holocene (i.e. last ~11,500 yr).

The project is being co-ordinated by Professor John Anderson at Loughborough University and involves colleagues from The Universities of Nottingham (Dr Suzanne McGowan) and Southampton (Professor Mary Edwards and Dr Pete Langdon). Project partners also include the Komi Science Centre, Sykvktar, and the Russian Academy of Sciences, V.I. Vernadsky Institute of Geochemistry and Analytical Chemistry.


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Viv Jones in the snow, with friends


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