Rapid warming in the Arctic is leading to the thawing of carbon-rich soils that have been permanently frozen for millennia. The release of greenhouse gases from thawed permafrost could increase the rate of global warming, but this depends on the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere, and whether carbon is released as carbon dioxide or the more potent greenhouse gas methane.
Results show that climate warming and permafrost thaw could potentially enhance methylmercury toxin production by an order of magnitude, impacting Arctic terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems by increased exposure to mercury through bioaccumulation and biomagnification in the food web.
Ice wedges, which are a common subsurface feature in permafrost landscapes, appear to be rapidly melting throughout the Arctic altering the microtopography and causing succession in polygon type that has profound changes to the storage and flow of water on the landscape
Progress and Accomplishments
Explicit aqueous phase redox, pH, and mineral interaction dynamics were coupled to the Converging Trophic Cascade (CTC) decomposition model, enabling prediction of CO2 and CH4 production from Arctic polygonal tundra soils.
Collaborative team improved the methane module in CLM and ALM and compared predictions with NGEE-Arctic and other tower observations, NASA CARVE aircraft observations, and two atmospheric inversions and highlight new ways to improve global CH4 predictions
Mapping Arctic Plant Functional Type Distributions in the Barrow Environmental Observatory Using WorldView-2 and LiDAR Datasets
NGEE Arctic researchers combined high-resolution multi-spectral remote sensing imagery from the WorldView-2 satellite with light detecting and ranging (LiDAR)-derived digital elevation models (DEMs) to characterize the tundra vegetation around the BEO.