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Lanzhou university Zhang Tingjun’s group participated in mercury research of arctic permafrost region with great achievements

By LZU | 15/02/2018 20:06:00 | Views ()

Recently, Geophysical Research Letters published important research achievements on the mercury reserves in the permafrost areas of arctic region. The research has found that “ there are a quantity of mercury in the permafrost areas”, which has made a difference to the whole ecosystem, environment and human’s health. Zhang Tingjun, the distinguished professor of  The Recruitment Program of Global Experts from college of earth environment science of  LZU and Mou Cuicui,  Junior professor, have participated in the cooperative research for many years and been supported by National Science Foundation of China (91325202) and National Natural Science Foundation of China (2013CBA0182).

The abstract of the paper is as follows:

Changing climate in northern regions is causing permafrost to thaw with major implications for the global mercury (Hg) cycle. We estimated Hg in permafrost regions based on in situ measurements of sediment total mercury (STHg), soil organic carbon (SOC), and the Hg to carbon ratio (RHgC) combined with maps of soil carbon. We measured a median STHg of 43 ± 30 ng Hg g soil−1 and a median RHgC of 1.6 ± 0.9 μg Hg g C−1, consistent with published results of STHg for tundra soils and 11,000 measurements from 4,926 temperate, nonpermafrost sites in North America and Eurasia. We estimate that the Northern Hemisphere permafrost regions contain 1,656 ± 962 Gg Hg, of which 793 ± 461 Gg Hg is frozen in permafrost. Permafrost soils store nearly twice as much Hg as all other soils, the ocean, and the atmosphere combined, and this Hg is vulnerable to release as permafrost thaws over the next century. Existing estimates greatly underestimate Hg in permafrost soils, indicating a need to reevaluate the role of the Arctic regions in the global Hg cycle.

It is said that the research was co-conducted by United States Geological Survey, the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center, Lanzhou University, International Arctic Research Center of University of Alaska and Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Related Links:


American media’s  report on this research:

Report from the website of American Geophysical Union

Report from the website of Live Science in America


(Translated by Sun Lianyue; proofread by Yan Han)

Reprinted please specity source center of Lanzhou University news
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