Research ArticleCLIMATOLOGY

Permafrost thawing puts the frozen carbon at risk over the Tibetan Plateau

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Science Advances  06 May 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 19, eaaz3513
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaz3513
  • Fig. 1 Spatial and temporal patterns of ALT in the TP.

    (A to C) Spatial distribution of ALT over the TP permafrost region at the baseline period (2006–2015) and in the 2090s projected by the ensemble mean of 18 CMIP5 models under RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios. The frequency histogram, mean value, and SD across the TP permafrost region for each map are also shown. (D) Time series of averaged ALT over the TP permafrost region during 2010–2100 under RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios. The solid curves are the ensemble mean of 18 CMIP5 models, and the shading represents ±1 SD among models.

  • Fig. 2 Spatial distribution of thawed SOC.

    (A) Spatial distribution of the 0- to 3-m SOC stock over the TP permafrost region, which is seasonally thawed within the active layer at the baseline period (2006–2015). (B and C) Spatial distribution of the newly thawed 0- to 3-m SOC stock from the baseline period to the 2090s projected by the ensemble mean of 18 CMIP5 models under RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios. (D to F) Same as (A) to (C), but for the 3- to 6-m soil layer. The SOC profile deeper than 3 m shown here is determined by the median of the observed SOC profiles from the 11 deep boreholes.

  • Fig. 3 Changes in thawed SOC.

    (A and B) Cumulative thawed permafrost carbon, which used to be perennially frozen in the baseline period (2006–2015) during 2010–2100 over the TP permafrost region projected by 18 CMIP5 models under (A) RCP4.5 and (B) RCP8.5 scenarios. The newly thawed carbon from layers at 0- to 3-m, 3- to 6-m, and 0- to 6-m depths is shown. The solid curves are the ensemble mean of 18 CMIP5 models, and the shading represents ±1 SD among models.

Supplementary Materials

  • Supplementary Materials

    Permafrost thawing puts the frozen carbon at risk over the Tibetan Plateau

    Taihua Wang, Dawen Yang, Yuting Yang, Shilong Piao, Xin Li, Guodong Cheng, Bojie Fu

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