Siberia’s Big Thaw by Chris Linder

In the Arctic, much of the ground is frozen year-round into a thick layer of ice-filled soil called permafrost, which stores vast amounts of carbon. As temperatures continue to rise in the Arctic, the permafrost is thawing, and the ancient carbon it contains is being released back into the streams, rivers, and atmosphere. Researchers from Florida State University, Northumbria University (U.K.), and University of California-Santa Barbara are investigating how much carbon is thawing in Siberia’s Kolyma watershed and what impact it will have on future climate change.

Congo River: Artery of the Forest by Chris Linder

Rob Spencer and his colleagues from the Woods Hole Research Center collected water samples from the Congo River and its major tributaries to understand how climate change and land use (agriculture, logging) can be measured through the properties of the water. The epic journey took the team the length of the Republic of Congo from the capital city of Brazzaville to the jungles of the far north. Along the way the science team surveyed nearly 40 different rivers that are all part of the massive Congo River watershed. This effort was part of a larger project studying major river watersheds worldwide.