Climate change enhances the mobilisation of naturally occurring metals in high altitude environments.
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Biosphere 2
USDA, Southwest Res Ctr
Lakebed sediment record
Weathering and transportation
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherELSEVIER SCIENCE BV
CitationClimate change enhances the mobilisation of naturally occurring metals in high altitude environments. 2016, 560-561:73-81 Sci. Total Environ.
JournalSCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT
Rights© 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Collection InformationThis item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at email@example.com.
AbstractManmade climate change has expressed a plethora of complex effects on Earth's biogeochemical compartments. Climate change may also affect the mobilisation of natural metal sources, with potential ecological consequences beyond mountains' geographical limits; however, this question has remained largely unexplored. We investigated this by analysing a number of key climatic factors in relationship with trace metal accumulation in the sediment core of a Pyrenean lake. The sediment metal contents showed increasing accumulation trend over time, and their levels varied in step with recent climate change. The findings further revealed that a rise in the elevation of freezing level, a general increase in the frequency of drier periods, changes in the frequency of winter freezing days and a reducing snow cover since the early 1980s, together are responsible for the observed variability and augmented accumulation of trace metals. Our results provide clear evidence of increased mobilisation of natural metal sources - an overlooked effect of climate change on the environment. With further alterations in climate equilibrium predicted over the ensuing decades, it is likely that mountain catchments in metamorphic areas may become significant sources of trace metals, with potentially harmful consequences for the wider environment.
NoteAvailable online 17 April 2016. 24 month embargo.
VersionFinal accepted manuscript