Tales from the carbon signatures in the Dry Valley Lakes

The fossil fuel signature could serve as an indicator of anthropogenic influences in Antarctic environments, which may continue to expand in the future Alia Khan and other researchers with the Dry Valleys LTER, argue in the paper that brines in the lake bottoms retain Dissolved Black Carbon (DBC) whose "woody signature" indicates the source is likely to have been burning -- such as wildfires and other natural events -- at lower latitudes as many as 2,500 years ago or more.

The research also indicates DBC levels from fossil fuel traces have increased in the past 25 years, but these concentrations are small in comparison to those associated with wildfires from more than 1,000 years ago. The researchers argue that these more modern traces could have two possible sources.

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