Journal Highlights

Climate warming is lowering levels of dissolved carbon in the Yukon River

Though climate warming effects on the terrestrial carbon cycle have been extensively studied and modeled at high latitudes, these effects on the transfer of carbon from land to freshwater and marine ecosystems are not as well known, especially for large arctic and subarctic river basins. Past studies suggested that the dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in such basins will increase in response to climate warming, resulting from a predicted increase in DOC release from northern peatlands. However, Striegl et al. (2005) found the opposite through their analysis of the Yukon basin. By comparing DOC export, normalized to water discharge, during the growing season from 1978 to 1980 with that taken from 2001 to 2003, they argued climate warming on frozen soils increases the flow path, residence time, and microbial mineralization of DOC in the soil active layer and groundwater, ultimately decreasing DOC export. They suggested that similar processes are occurring in other permafrost-dominated river basins and that continued warming could result in decreased DOC export by major arctic and subarctic rivers due to increased respiration of organic carbon on land.

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Featured Special Collection

A Census of Atmospheric Variability from Seconds to Decades 

The atmosphere varies naturally on all length scales from millimeters to thousands of kilometers, and on all time scales from seconds to decades and longer.  This special collection of Geophysical Research Letters synthesizes and summarizes that variability through a phenomenological census.  The collection brings together some of the most influential and definitive papers to have been published in this journal in recent years.  The topics covered include turbulence on time scales of seconds and minutes, gravity waves on time scales of hours, weather systems on time scales of days, atmospheric blocking on time scales of weeks, the Madden–Julian Oscillation on time scales of months, the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation and El Niño–Southern Oscillation on time scales of years, and the North Atlantic, Arctic, Antarctic, Pacific Decadal, and Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillations on time scales of decades.  The collection is accompanied by a Commentary article, which provides an authoritative, concise, and accessible point of reference for the most important modes of atmospheric variability.

A Census of Atmospheric Variability from Seconds to Decades