CO2 and CH4 dynamics of the Yukon River Basin

Delving deeper into the carbon dioxide and methane dynamics of North America’s largest free-flowing river basin: the Yukon River Basin.

Researchers were able to determine a baseline of carbon biogeochemistry and hydrology for the Yukon River basin using in-situ gas flux measurements of carbon dioixde and methane, Landsat data and Digital Elevation Models (DEM).

When contrasted with the Mississippi River system, the Yukon River had similar CO2 emissions, which was surprising given the relatively low water temperature and low soil respiration rates of the Yukon River system.

Yukon River Basin study map

Keeping in mind that the Yukon River is covered by ice for 5+ months out of the year, a time when emissions are assumed to not occur, warming of high latitudes would mean an increase in carbon gas emissions from all high latitude river systems.

Striegl et al. (2012), “Carbon dioxide and methane emissions from the Yukon River system”

Full article on ResearchGate