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Measuring river carbon

Land-Sea Connections

Guest investigator Kristina Brown, right, and research assistant Kate Morkeski troubleshoot a new dissolved inorganic carbon sensor in the lab of WHOI marine chemist Aleck Wang. In the Arctic, a layer of permanently frozen soil known as permafrost traps ancient plant carbon underground. As the climate warms, permafrost thaws, allowing some of this carbon to be carried from the land into rivers and from there to the sea. Using Wang's sensor, Brown is measuring dissolved carbon dioxide in water sampled from rivers in the Canadian Arctic to estimate how much inorganic carbon these rivers are transporting into the coastal ocean. (Photo by Véronique LaCapra, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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