Articles | Volume 15, issue 22
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-15-6847-2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-15-6847-2018
Research article
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16 Nov 2018
Research article | Highlight paper |  | 16 Nov 2018

Distribution and cycling of terrigenous dissolved organic carbon in peatland-draining rivers and coastal waters of Sarawak, Borneo

Patrick Martin, Nagur Cherukuru, Ashleen S. Y. Tan, Nivedita Sanwlani, Aazani Mujahid, and Moritz Müller

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Short summary
The carbon cycle is a key control for the Earth's climate. Every year rivers deliver a lot of organic carbon to coastal seas, but we do not know what happens to this carbon, particularly in the tropics. We show that rivers in Borneo deliver carbon from peat swamps to the sea with at most minimal biological or chemical alteration in estuaries, but sunlight can rapidly oxidise this carbon to CO2. This means that south-east Asian seas are likely hotspots of terrestrial carbon decomposition.
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