Modeling high-Arctic permafrost thawing impact on Greenhouse gas exchange in Northeast Greenland
Wenxin Zhang, Postdoc, CENPERM
Frozen organic carbon stored in northern permafrost soils may become vulnerable due to the rapid warming of the Arctic. The loss of carbon through the emissions of CO2 may imply a critical warming potential, resulting in positive feedbacks to global climate change. On the other hand, increased warming and subsequent increased nutrient availability also likely stimulate vegetation growth to uptake more carbon. Therefore, there are still large uncertainties on how much amount of carbon will be released by accounting for interaction between abiotic and biotic processes. Numerical models based on detailed soil physics and biogeochemistry (such as the CoupModel) are useful tools to investigate energy, water and carbon transfer among atmosphere, plant, snow cover and permafrost. In this modeling study, we tend to quantify the additional carbon flux emission from a high-arctic tundra (dry heath land) in Northeast Greenland due to a plausible warming scenario (RCP8.5), which is associated with the effects and feedbacks from snow-melt water infiltration, soil thermal and hydrological processes, nutrient cycling, plant growth and ecosystem respiration.
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