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Published: 02 Nov, 2015

Seminar: The arctic and our changing climate: Do ecosystems matter?

NEWS With the preparations for the Paris climate change conference underway we invite all to get an insight into what the climate scientists at Climate Impact Research Center, Umeå University, in Abisko do. Therefore we are happy to invite Dr. Ellen Dorrepaal.

Climate change is among the largest current global political and socio-economic concerns. In addition to anthropogenic causes, terrestrial ecosystems can cause strong climate feedbacks through uptake of carbon by plants and release via microbial breakdown. The size of these natural feedbacks is one of the major uncertainties in current climate projections. Permanently frozen (permafrost) soils in the arctic store twice as much carbon as is present in the entire atmosphere of our planet. This carbon is currently excluded from the global atmospheric carbon cycle and thus does not contribute to climate warming. However, there is great concern that warming and thawing of permafrost soils may stimulate microbial breakdown of the stored organic carbon. This would causing a large positive feedback to global warming. My research aims to understand carbon cycle-climate feedbacks from arctic terrestrial ecosystems and in this seminar I will give an overview of our approaches and main findings.

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