Increased ice sheet is increasing freshwater input to the oceans. The implications of this increasing flux are widespread, both regionally and globally, since meltwater transports bioavailable compounds and chemical weathering products that can influence global biogeochemical cycles. Quantifying these outputs is demanding: glacier meltwaters are remote, experience freeze-thaw, low temperatures, high concentrations of suspended sediment, low concentrations of major ions and turbid and varying flows that challenge conventional sampling techniques. New sensing technologies enable high resolution, continuous assessment of biogeochemically significant parameters, which, when combined with high quality sampling programmes, can reveal how glacier melt impacts on downstream systems. Data from two contrasting catchments in Greenland show that meltwaters were undersaturated with respect to atmospheric CO2 for the vast majority of the melt season. Undersaturated meltwaters drawdown CO2 from the atmosphere; however, this is balanced by CO2 returned to the atmosphere via marine carbonate precipitation. Meltwater from the contemporary Greenland ice sheet therefore has the potential to provide a carbon feedback mechanism to the global system.
|Publication status||Published - Dec 2021|
|Event||AGU Fall Meeting 2021 - New Orleans, United States|
Duration: 13 Dec 2021 → 17 Dec 2021
|Conference||AGU Fall Meeting 2021|
|Period||13/12/21 → 17/12/21|