Navigation Links
New knowledge about permafrost improving climate models
Date:7/28/2013

New research findings from the Centre for Permafrost (CENPERM) at the Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen, document that permafrost during thawing may result in a substantial release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and that the future water content in the soil is crucial to predict the effect of permafrost thawing. The findings may lead to more accurate climate models in the future.

The permafrost is thawing and thus contributes to the release of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. But the rate at which carbon dioxide is released from permafrost is poorly documented and is one of the most important uncertainties of the current climate models.

The knowledge available so far has primarily been based on measurements of the release of carbon dioxide in short-term studies of up to 3-4 months. The new findings are based on measurements carried out over a 12-year period. Studies with different water content have also been conducted. Professor Bo Elberling, Director of CENPERM (Centre for Permafrost) at the University of Copenhagen, is the person behind the novel research findings which are now being published in the internationally renowned scientific journal Nature Climate Change.

"From a climate change perspective, it makes a huge difference whether it takes 10 or 100 years to release, e.g., half the permafrost carbon pool. We have demonstrated that the supply of oxygen in connection with drainage or drying is essential for a rapid release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere," says Bo Elberling.

Water content in the soil crucial to predict effect of permafrost thawing

The new findings also show that the future water content in the soil is a decisive factor for being able to correctly predict the effect of permafrost thawing. If the permafrost remains water-saturated after thawing, the carbon decomposition rate will be very low, and the release of carbon dioxide will take place over several hundred years, in addition to methane that is produced in waterlogged conditions. The findings can be used directly to improve existing climate models.

The new studies are mainly conducted at the Zackenberg research station in North-East Greenland, but permafrost samples from four other locations in Svalbard and in Canada have also been included and they show a surprising similarity in the loss of carbon over time.

"It is thought-provoking that microorganisms are behind the entire problem microorganisms which break down the carbon pool and which are apparently already present in the permafrost. One of the critical decisive factors the water content is in the same way linked to the original high content of ice in most permafrost samples. Yes, the temperature is increasing, and the permafrost is thawing, but it is, still, the characteristics of the permafrost which determine the long-term release of carbon dioxide," Bo Elberling concludes.


'/>"/>

Contact: Bo Elberling
be@geo.ku.dk
45-23-63-84-53
University of Copenhagen
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Ag, big data, and traditional knowledge headline the Ecological Society of Americas 2013 Meeting
2. Paving the way for greater use of ancient medical knowledge
3. Disease knowledge may advance faster with CRISPR gene probing tool
4. Growing talent -- schools to provide vital knowledge for food security
5. US and French long-term ecological research networks agree to share knowledge and skills
6. Toward an European open biodiversity knowledge management system
7. Baiting mosquitoes with knowledge and proven insecticides
8. Danish researchers release ground-breaking knowledge about calcium pumps in cells
9. Spatial knowledge vs. spatial choice: The hippocampus as conflict detector?
10. Old aerial photos supply new knowledge on glaciers in Greenland
11. A network of knowledge on biodiversity and ecosystem services in Europe
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/5/2017)... NEW YORK , April 5, 2017 ... security, is announcing that the server component of the ... is known for providing the end-to-end security architecture that ... customers. HYPR has already secured over 15 ... system makers including manufacturers of connected home product suites ...
(Date:4/4/2017)... , April 4, 2017   EyeLock LLC , ... that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) ... covers the linking of an iris image with a ... and represents the company,s 45 th issued patent. ... is very timely given the multi-modal biometric capabilities that ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... -- On April 6-7, 2017, Sequencing.com will host the world,s ... at Microsoft,s headquarters in Redmond, Washington ... health and wellness apps that provide a unique, personalized ... is the first hackathon for personal genomics and the ... the genomics, tech and health industries are sending teams ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/28/2017)... , June 28, 2017  Scientific Analytics, Inc.,s DARI ... showcased in front of thousands of healthcare providers at Premier ... 27.   Scientific Analytics, DARI Motion Health was debuted ... recognizes advances in healthcare while highlighting industry suppliers committed to ... ...
(Date:6/28/2017)... , ... June 28, 2017 , ... ... international market with three research projects accepted for presentation at the 33rd Annual ... Nearly 10,000 participants – including some of the world’s top thought leaders in ...
(Date:6/28/2017)... ... ... Studies indicate that replacing damaged brain cells with those derived from human ... has not been determined is the optimal stage during differentiation of the stem cells ... study coming out of Singapore, recently published in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine journal may ...
(Date:6/27/2017)... ... 2017 , ... According to a recent report from the ... have negative short- or long-term effects on benthic communities. , The ESTCP ... at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility in Bremerton, Washing. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: