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Impact of climate change on marine ecosystems in the Swedish Arctic

Research project The aim of the project is to forecast how direct and indirect effects of climate will change regional lake carbon cycling in the Swedish arctic.

The project is supported by Formas.

Head of project

Cristian Gudasz
Research fellow
E-mail
Email

Project overview

Project period:

2021-01-01 2023-12-31

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Ecology and Environmental Science

Research area

Environmental sciences

External funding

Formas

Project description

The Arctic is warming faster than anywhere in the world. The Arctic also has a significant proportion of the freshwater and terrestrial organic carbon stocks on the planet. Lakes are hotspots of greenhouse gas emissions of carbon dioxide and methane, and carbon storage. As a result, the response of lakes to both direct and indirect effects of climate change will strongly influence arctic feedbacks to climate change.

A critical knowledge gap lies in our ability to make quantitative predictions of how the aggregated carbon fluxes of thousands of lakes that vary in size, shape, and landscape context will respond to projected climate change. However, lakes are not integrated into regional and global carbon cycle models.

The aim of the project is to forecast how direct and indirect effects of climate will change regional lake carbon cycling in the Swedish arctic. By using a combination of novel large-scale lake survey, analyses and modeling, I will test the hypotheses that:

1) Indirect (shifts in water and terrestrial carbon inputs) will have a stronger impact on lake climate feedbacks than direct (temperature) effects

2) Dominant climate change response, i.e. greenhouse gas emissions and burial is lake size dependent.

The project aims to fill significant gaps in our knowledge of how lake ecosystems function at large-scales for understanding how climate will respond to the projected anthropogenic forcings.

External funding