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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R3XW48020

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Wildfires threaten mercury stocks in northern soils Open Access

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Author or creator
Turetsky, M.R.
Harden, J.W.
Friedli, H.R.
Flannigan, M.D.
Payne, N.
Crock, J.
Radke, L.F.
Additional contributors
Subject/Keyword
Climate-change
Canadian forest-fires
Emissions
Deposition
Organic-matter lost
Carbon
Methylmercury
Dynamics
Atmospheric mercury
Peatland
Type of item
Journal Article (Published)
Language
English
Place
Time
Description
With climate change rapidly affecting northern forests and wetlands, mercury reserves once protected in cold, wet soils are being exposed to burning, likely triggering large releases of mercury to the atmosphere. We quantify organic soil mercury stocks and burn areas across western, boreal Canada for use in fire emission models that explore controls of burn area, consumption severity, and fuel loading on atmospheric mercury emissions. Though renowned as hotspots for the accumulation of mercury and its transformation to the toxic methylmercury, boreal wetlands might soon transition to hotspots for atmospheric mercury emissions. Estimates of circumboreal mercury emissions from this study are 15-fold greater than estimates that do not account for mercury stored in peat soils. Ongoing and projected increases in boreal wildfire activity due to climate change will increase atmospheric mercury emissions, contributing to the anthropogenic alteration of the global mercury cycle and exacerbating mercury toxicities for northern food chains.).
Date created
2006
DOI
doi:10.7939/R3XW48020
License information
Rights
© 2006 American Geophysical Union. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.
Citation for previous publication
Turetsky, M. R., J. W. Harden, H. R. Friedli, M. D. Flannigan, N. Payne, J. Crock, and L. F. Radke (2006), Wildfires threaten mercury stocks in northern soils. Geophysical Research Letters, 33, L16403, doi:101029/2005GL025595.
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File title: Wildfires threaten mercury stocks in northern soils
File author: Merritt R. Turetsky, Jennifer W. Harden, Hans R. Friedli, Mike Flannigan, Nicholas Payne, James Crock, Lawrence Radke
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