Long-term pCO2 trends in Adirondack Lakes


Lakes are globally significant sources of CO2 to the atmosphere. However, there are few temporally resolved records of lake CO2 concentrations and long-term patterns are poorly characterized. We evaluated annual trends in the partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) based on chemical measurements from 31 Adirondack Lakes taken monthly over an 18 year period. All lakes were supersaturated with CO2 and were sources of CO2 to the atmosphere. There were significant pCO2 trends in 29% of lakes. The median magnitude of significant positive trends was 32.1μatm yr-1. Overall, 52% of lakes had pCO2 trends greater than those reported for the atmosphere and ocean. Significant trends in lake pCO2 were attributable to regional recovery from acid deposition and changing patterns of ice cover. These results illustrate that lake pCO2 can respond rapidly to environmental change, but the lack of significant trend in 71% of lakes indicates substantial lake-to-lake variation in magnitude of response.

Geophysical Research Letters

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