Panarctic lakes exerted a small positive feedback on early Holocene warming due to deglacial release of methane Journal Article uri icon



  • AbstractClimate-driven permafrost thaw can release ancient carbon to the atmosphere, begetting further warming in a positive feedback loop. Polar ice core data and young radiocarbon ages of dissolved methane in thermokarst lakes have challenged the importance of this feedback, but field studies did not adequately account for older methane released from permafrost through bubbling. We synthesized panarctic isotope and emissions datasets to derive integrated ages of panarctic lake methane fluxes. Methane age in modern thermokarst lakes (3132 ± 731 years before present) reflects remobilization of ancient carbon. Thermokarst-lake methane emissions fit within the constraints imposed by polar ice core data. Younger, albeit ultimately larger sources of methane from glacial lakes, estimated here, lagged those from thermokarst lakes. Our results imply that panarctic lake methane release was a small positive feedback to climate warming, comprising up to 17% of total northern hemisphere sources during the deglacial period.

publication date

  • July 25, 2023

has restriction

  • gold

Date in CU Experts

  • February 12, 2024 2:27 AM

Full Author List

  • Brosius LS; Walter Anthony KM; Treat CC; Jones MC; Dyonisius M; Grosse G

author count

  • 6

Other Profiles

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2662-4435

Additional Document Info


  • 4


  • 1


  • 271