Wildfires threaten mercury stocks in northern soils

  • Turetsky M
  • Harden J
  • Friedli H
 et al. 
  • 54

    Readers

    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 66

    Citations

    Citations of this article.

Abstract

With climate change rapidly affecting northern forests and wetlands, mercury reserves once protected in cold, wet soils are being exposed to burning, likely triggering large releases of mercury to the atmosphere. We quantify organic soil mercury stocks and burn areas across western, boreal Canada for use in fire emission models that explore controls of burn area, consumption severity, and fuel loading on atmospheric mercury emissions. Though renowned as hotspots for the accumulation of mercury and its transformation to the toxic methylmercury, boreal wetlands might soon transition to hotspots for atmospheric mercury emissions. Estimates of circumboreal mercury emissions from this study are 15-fold greater than estimates that do not account for mercury stored in peat soils. Ongoing and projected increases in boreal wildfire activity due to climate change will increase atmospheric mercury emissions, contributing to the anthropogenic alteration of the global mercury cycle and exacerbating mercury toxicities for northern food chains.).

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document

Authors

  • Merritt R. Turetsky

  • Jennifer W. Harden

  • Hans R. Friedli

  • Mike Flannigan

  • Nicholas Payne

  • James Crock

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free