In the context of climate change there is an active photomineralization organic carbon of permafrost. Current projections of carbon emissions from permafrost over the next 300 years it does not take into account, and therefore undervalued by at least 14 percent, according to a study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. The greatest role in this process is the presence of iron ions, which catalyze the reaction of photodecomposition.
At the current rate of increase in average temperatures by 2100 from permafrost may be released up to 15 percent of conserved carbon. Most of it will leave permafrost in the form of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere, but its contribution will make a lateral transfer of organic matter thawed soils to surface waters, where the conditions for its rapid oxidation by photomineralization. These events will lead to a significant shift in climate change in the direction of even greater warming.
Scientists led by Jennifer Bowen (Jennifer Bowen) at the University of Michigan presented the first quantitative assessment of the loss of organic carbon with permafrost due to photomineralization in surface waters. To do this, in 2018 they selected monolithic samples of permafrost in the North slope (Alaska) in six different subtypes of the tundra (wetlands sour Melikovoy, wetlands sour rib, moist sedge and wet sedge, acidic wetlands and wet non-acidic tundra Sagwon) with depth below 60 inches. In addition, the authors set the model experiment simulating the process of photomineralization: in the laboratory of these samples within four hours Vasilachi dissolved organic matter with water, which has previously been oxidized by UV radiation. The amount of carbon in the rock and in the filtrates was determined using accelerator mass spectrometry.