Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


Carbon budget in the black

A significant fraction of a common organic component of marine sediments has an unexpected source, providing a fresh context for studies of the global carbon cycle in oceanic and terrestrial settings.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Carbonized conundrum.



  1. Dickens, A. F., Gélinas, Y., Masiello, C. A., Wakeham, S. & Hedges, J. I. Nature 427, 336–339 (2004).

    ADS  CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Kuhlbusch, T. A. J. Science 280, 1903–1904 (1998).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Schmidt, M. W. I. & Noack, A. G. Glob. Biogeochem. Cycles 14, 777–794 (2000).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Shneour, E. Science 155, 991–992 (1966).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Baldock, J. A. & Smernik, R. J. Org. Geochem. 33, 1093–1109 (2002).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Czimczik, C. I. et al. Glob. Biogeochem. Cycles 17, 1020 (2003).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Decesari, S. et al. Atmos. Environ. 36, 1827–1832 (2002).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Siemens, J. Science 302, 1681 (2003).

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  9. Seiler, W. & Crutzen, P. J. Clim. Change 2, 207–247 (1980).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Prentice, I. C. et al. in Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis (eds Houghton, J. T. et al.) 881 (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2001).

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Michael W. I. Schmidt.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Schmidt, M. Carbon budget in the black. Nature 427, 305–307 (2004).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing