An interdisciplinary Russian-German project on the formation, turnover and release of carbon in Siberian permafrost landscapes
Permafrost-affected soils of the northern hemisphere have accumulated large pools of organic carbon (OC) since continuous low temperatures in the permafrost prevented organic carbon decomposition. According to recent estimates these soils contain 1670 Pg of OC, or about 2.5-times the carbon within the global vegetation. Rising arctic temperatures will result in increased permafrost thawing resulting in a mobilization of formerly frozen OC. The degradation of the newly available OC will result in an increased formation of trace gases such as methane and carbon dioxide which can be released to the atmosphere. Rising trace gas concentrations due to permafrost thawing would thereby form a positive feedback on climate warming.
CarboPerm, is a joint German-Russian research project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. It comprises multi-disciplinary investigations on the formation, turnover and release of OC in Siberian permafrost. It aims to gain increased understanding of how permafrost-affected landscapes will respond to global warming and how this response will influence the local, regional and global trace gas balance.
Permafrost scientists from Russia and Germany will work together at different key sites in the Siberian Arctic. These sites are: the coast and islands at the Dmitry Laptev Strait, the Lena River Delta, and the Kolyma lowlands close to Cherskii.
The coordination will be at the Universität Hamburg (scientific), the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research in Potsdam (logistic) and the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute in St. Petersburg.
CarboPerm will strengthen permafrost research in underrepresented areas which are hardly accessible to international researchers. The obtained results will improve our understanding of the future development of the sensitive and economically relevant arctic permafrost regions.
Great photographs from our Summer School at Lake Ladoga available on-line!
The PhD Meeting in Gülpe was a great success!
Impressions of the Polar day, the spring flood and the ice breakup.