The Siberian shelf seas cover large shallow areas that receive substantial amounts of river discharge. The river runoff contributes nutrients that promote marine primary production, but also dissolved and particulate organic matter. The coastal regions are built up of organic matter in permafrost that thaws and result in coastal erosion and addition of organic matter to the sea. Hence there are multiple sources of organic matter that through microbial decomposition result in high partial pressures of CO2 in the shelf seas. By evaluating data collected from the Laptev and East Siberian Seas in the summer of 2008 we compute an excess of DIC equal to 10 · 1012 g C that is expected to be outgassed to the atmosphere and suggest that this excess mainly is caused by terrestrial organic matter decomposition.