WorldWideScience

Sample records for permafrost arctic information

  1. PeRL: a circum-Arctic Permafrost Region Pond and Lake database

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muster, Sina; Roth, Kurt; Langer, Moritz; Lange, Stephan; Cresto Aleina, Fabio; Bartsch, Annett; Morgenstern, Anne; Grosse, Guido; Jones, Benjamin; Sannel, A. Britta K.; Sjöberg, Ylva; Günther, Frank; Andresen, Christian; Veremeeva, Alexandra; Lindgren, Prajna R.; Bouchard, Frédéric; Lara, Mark J.; Fortier, Daniel; Charbonneau, Simon; Virtanen, Tarmo A.; Hugelius, Gustaf; Palmtag, Juri; Siewert, Matthias B.; Riley, William J.; Koven, Charles D.; Boike, Julia

    2017-06-01

    Ponds and lakes are abundant in Arctic permafrost lowlands. They play an important role in Arctic wetland ecosystems by regulating carbon, water, and energy fluxes and providing freshwater habitats. However, ponds, i.e., waterbodies with surface areas smaller than 1. 0 × 104 m2, have not been inventoried on global and regional scales. The Permafrost Region Pond and Lake (PeRL) database presents the results of a circum-Arctic effort to map ponds and lakes from modern (2002-2013) high-resolution aerial and satellite imagery with a resolution of 5 m or better. The database also includes historical imagery from 1948 to 1965 with a resolution of 6 m or better. PeRL includes 69 maps covering a wide range of environmental conditions from tundra to boreal regions and from continuous to discontinuous permafrost zones. Waterbody maps are linked to regional permafrost landscape maps which provide information on permafrost extent, ground ice volume, geology, and lithology. This paper describes waterbody classification and accuracy, and presents statistics of waterbody distribution for each site. Maps of permafrost landscapes in Alaska, Canada, and Russia are used to extrapolate waterbody statistics from the site level to regional landscape units. PeRL presents pond and lake estimates for a total area of 1. 4 × 106 km2 across the Arctic, about 17 % of the Arctic lowland ( pangaea.de/10.1594/PANGAEA.868349" target="_blank">https://doi.pangaea.de/10.1594/PANGAEA.868349.

  2. International student Arctic Field School on Permafrost and urban areas study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suter, L.; Tolmanov, V. A.; Grebenets, V. I.; Streletskiy, D. A.; Shiklomanov, N. I.

    2017-12-01

    Arctic regions are experiencing drastic climatic and environmental changes. These changes are exacerbated in the Russian Arctic, where active resource development resulted in further land cover transformations, especially near large settlements. There is a growing need in multidisciplinary studies of climate and human- induced changes in the Arctic cities. In order to fill this gap, International Arctic Field Course on Permafrostand Northern Studies was organized in July 2017 to the Russian Arctic. The course was organized under the umbrella of the Arctic PIRE project in cooperation between the George Washington University, Moscow State University, and the Russian Center for Arctic Development. The course attracted twenty undergraduate and graduate students from Russia, USA, and EU countries and involved instructors specializing in Arctic system science, geocryology, permafrost engineering, and urban sustainability. The field course was focused on studying typical natural Arctic landscapes of tundra and forest tundra; transformations of natural landscapes in urban and industrial areas around Vorkuta and Salekhard; construction and planning on permafrost and field methods and techniques, including permafrost and soil temperature monitoring, active layer thickness (ALT) measurements, studying of cryogenic processes, stratigraphic and soil investigations, vegetation and microclimate studies. The students were also engaged in a discussion of climatic change and historical development of urban areas on permafrost,and were exposed to examples of both active and passive construction principles while conducting a field survey of permafrost related building deformations. During the course, students collected more than 800 ALT and soil temperature measurements in typical landscapes around Vorkuta and Salekhard to determine effects of soil and vegetation factors on ground thermal regime; surveyed several hundreds of buildings to determine locations with most deformation

  3. PeRL: A circum-Arctic Permafrost Region Pond and Lake database

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muster, Sina; Roth, Kurt; Langer, Moritz; Lange, Stephan; Cresto Aleina, Fabio; Bartsch, Annett; Morgenstern, Anne; Grosse, Guido; Jones, Benjamin; Sannel, A.B.K.; Sjoberg, Ylva; Gunther, Frank; Andresen, Christian; Veremeeva, Alexandra; Lindgren, Prajna R.; Bouchard, Frédéric; Lara, Mark J.; Fortier, Daniel; Charbonneau, Simon; Virtanen, Tarmo A.; Hugelius, Gustaf; Palmtag, J.; Siewert, Matthias B.; Riley, William J.; Koven, Charles; Boike, Julia

    2017-01-01

    Ponds and lakes are abundant in Arctic permafrost lowlands. They play an important role in Arctic wetland ecosystems by regulating carbon, water, and energy fluxes and providing freshwater habitats. However, ponds, i.e., waterbodies with surface areas smaller than 1. 0 × 104 m2, have not been inventoried on global and regional scales. The Permafrost Region Pond and Lake (PeRL) database presents the results of a circum-Arctic effort to map ponds and lakes from modern (2002–2013) high-resolution aerial and satellite imagery with a resolution of 5 m or better. The database also includes historical imagery from 1948 to 1965 with a resolution of 6 m or better. PeRL includes 69 maps covering a wide range of environmental conditions from tundra to boreal regions and from continuous to discontinuous permafrost zones. Waterbody maps are linked to regional permafrost landscape maps which provide information on permafrost extent, ground ice volume, geology, and lithology. This paper describes waterbody classification and accuracy, and presents statistics of waterbody distribution for each site. Maps of permafrost landscapes in Alaska, Canada, and Russia are used to extrapolate waterbody statistics from the site level to regional landscape units. PeRL presents pond and lake estimates for a total area of 1. 4 × 106 km2 across the Arctic, about 17 % of the Arctic lowland ( s.l.) land surface area. PeRL waterbodies with sizes of 1. 0 × 106 m2 down to 1. 0 × 102 m2 contributed up to 21 % to the total water fraction. Waterbody density ranged from 1. 0 × 10 to 9. 4 × 101 km−2. Ponds are the dominant waterbody type by number in all landscapes representing 45–99 % of the total waterbody number. The implementation of PeRL size distributions in land surface models will greatly improve the investigation and projection of surface inundation and carbon fluxes in permafrost lowlands. Waterbody maps, study area

  4. Estimation of permafrost thawing rates in a sub-arctic catchment using recession flow analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. W. Lyon

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Permafrost thawing is likely to change the flow pathways taken by water as it moves through arctic and sub-arctic landscapes. The location and distribution of these pathways directly influence the carbon and other biogeochemical cycling in northern latitude catchments. While permafrost thawing due to climate change has been observed in the arctic and sub-arctic, direct observations of permafrost depth are difficult to perform at scales larger than a local scale. Using recession flow analysis, it may be possible to detect and estimate the rate of permafrost thawing based on a long-term streamflow record. We demonstrate the application of this approach to the sub-arctic Abiskojokken catchment in northern Sweden. Based on recession flow analysis, we estimate that permafrost in this catchment may be thawing at an average rate of about 0.9 cm/yr during the past 90 years. This estimated thawing rate is consistent with direct observations of permafrost thawing rates, ranging from 0.7 to 1.3 cm/yr over the past 30 years in the region.

  5. Bacterial communities in ancient permafrost profiles of Svalbard, Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Purnima; Singh, Shiv M; Singh, Ram N; Naik, Simantini; Roy, Utpal; Srivastava, Alok; Bölter, Manfred

    2017-12-01

    Permafrost soils are unique habitats in polar environment and are of great ecological relevance. The present study focuses on the characterization of bacterial communities from permafrost profiles of Svalbard, Arctic. Counts of culturable bacteria range from 1.50 × 10 3 to 2.22 × 10 5 CFU g -1 , total bacterial numbers range from 1.14 × 10 5 to 5.52 × 10 5 cells g -1 soil. Bacterial isolates are identified through 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Arthrobacter and Pseudomonas are the most dominant genera, and A. sulfonivorans, A. bergeri, P. mandelii, and P. jessenii as the dominant species. Other species belong to genera Acinetobacter, Bacillus, Enterobacter, Nesterenkonia, Psychrobacter, Rhizobium, Rhodococcus, Sphingobacterium, Sphingopyxis, Stenotrophomonas, and Virgibacillus. To the best of our knowledge, genera Acinetobacter, Enterobacter, Nesterenkonia, Psychrobacter, Rhizobium, Sphingobacterium, Sphingopyxis, Stenotrophomonas, and Virgibacillus are the first northernmost records from Arctic permafrost. The present study fills the knowledge gap of culturable bacterial communities and their chronological characterization from permafrost soils of Ny-Ålesund (79°N), Arctic. © 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  6. PeRL: a circum-Arctic Permafrost Region Pond and Lake database

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Muster

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Ponds and lakes are abundant in Arctic permafrost lowlands. They play an important role in Arctic wetland ecosystems by regulating carbon, water, and energy fluxes and providing freshwater habitats. However, ponds, i.e., waterbodies with surface areas smaller than 1. 0 × 104 m2, have not been inventoried on global and regional scales. The Permafrost Region Pond and Lake (PeRL database presents the results of a circum-Arctic effort to map ponds and lakes from modern (2002–2013 high-resolution aerial and satellite imagery with a resolution of 5 m or better. The database also includes historical imagery from 1948 to 1965 with a resolution of 6 m or better. PeRL includes 69 maps covering a wide range of environmental conditions from tundra to boreal regions and from continuous to discontinuous permafrost zones. Waterbody maps are linked to regional permafrost landscape maps which provide information on permafrost extent, ground ice volume, geology, and lithology. This paper describes waterbody classification and accuracy, and presents statistics of waterbody distribution for each site. Maps of permafrost landscapes in Alaska, Canada, and Russia are used to extrapolate waterbody statistics from the site level to regional landscape units. PeRL presents pond and lake estimates for a total area of 1. 4 × 106 km2 across the Arctic, about 17 % of the Arctic lowland ( <  300 m a.s.l. land surface area. PeRL waterbodies with sizes of 1. 0 × 106 m2 down to 1. 0 × 102 m2 contributed up to 21 % to the total water fraction. Waterbody density ranged from 1. 0 × 10 to 9. 4 × 101 km−2. Ponds are the dominant waterbody type by number in all landscapes representing 45–99 % of the total waterbody number. The implementation of PeRL size distributions in land surface models will greatly improve the investigation and projection of surface inundation and carbon fluxes in permafrost lowlands

  7. Ice-Rich Yedoma Permafrost: A Synthesis of Circum-Arctic Distribution and Thickness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strauss, J.; Fedorov, A. N.; Fortier, D.; Froese, D. G.; Fuchs, M.; Grosse, G.; Günther, F.; Harden, J. W.; Hugelius, G.; Kanevskiy, M. Z.; Kholodov, A. L.; Kunitsky, V.; Laboor, S.; Lapointe Elmrabti, L.; Rivkina, E.; Robinson, J. E.; Schirrmeister, L.; Shmelev, D.; Shur, Y.; Spektor, V.; Ulrich, M.; Veremeeva, A.; Walter Anthony, K. M.; Zimov, S. A.

    2015-12-01

    Vast portions of Arctic and sub-Arctic Siberia, Alaska and the Yukon Territory are covered by ice-rich silts that are penetrated by large ice wedges, resulting from syngenetic sedimentation and freezing. Accompanied by wedge-ice growth, the sedimentation process was driven by cold continental climatic and environmental conditions in unglaciated regions during the late Pleistocene, inducing the accumulation of the unique Yedoma permafrost deposits up to 50 meter thick. Because of fast incorporation of organic material into permafrost during formation, Yedoma deposits include low-decomposed organic matter. Moreover, ice-rich permafrost deposits like Yedoma are especially prone to degradation triggered by climate changes or human activity. When Yedoma deposits degrade, large amounts of sequestered organic carbon as well as other nutrients are released and become part of active biogeochemical cycling. This could be of global significance for the climate warming, as increased permafrost thaw is likely to cause a positive feedback loop. Therefore, a detailed assessment of the Yedoma deposit volume is of importance to estimate its potential future climate response. Moreover, as a step beyond the objectives of this synthesis study, our coverage (see figure for the Yedoma domain) and thickness estimation will provide critical data to refine the Yedoma permafrost organic carbon inventory, which is assumed to have freeze-locked between 83±12 and 129±30 gigatonnes (Gt) of organic carbon. Hence, we here synthesize data on the circum-Arctic and sub-Arctic distribution and thickness of Yedoma permafrost (see figure for the Yedoma domain) in the framework of an Action Group funded by the International Permafrost Association (IPA). The quantification of the Yedoma coverage is conducted by the digitization of geomorphological and Quaternary geological maps. Further data on Yedoma thickness is contributed from boreholes and exposures reported in the scientific literature.

  8. Reviews and syntheses : Effects of permafrost thaw on Arctic aquatic ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vonk, J. E.; Tank, S. E.; Bowden, W.B.; Laurion, I.; Vincent, W. F.; Alekseychik, P.; Amyot, M.; Billet, M. F.; Canário, J.; Cory, R. M.; Deshpande, B. N.; Helbig, M.; Jammet, M.; Karlsson, J.; Larouche, J.; Macmillan, G.; Rautio, M.; Walter Anthony, K. M.; Wickland, K.P.

    2015-01-01

    The Arctic is a water-rich region, with freshwater systems covering about 16 % of the northern permafrost landscape. Permafrost thaw creates new freshwater ecosystems, while at the same time modifying the existing lakes, streams, and rivers that are impacted by thaw. Here, we describe the current

  9. Quantifying Permafrost Extent, Condition, and Degradation at Department of Defense Installations in the Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edlund, C. A.

    2017-12-01

    The Department of Defense (DoD) is planning over $500M in military construction on Eielson Air Force Base (AFB) within the next three fiscal years. This construction program will expand the footprint of facilities and change the storm water management scheme, which will have second order effects on the underlying permafrost layer. These changes in permafrost will drive engineering decision making at local and regional levels, and help shape the overall strategy for military readiness in the Arctic. Although many studies have attempted to predict climate change induced permafrost degradation, very little site-specific knowledge exists on the anthropogenic effects to permafrost at this location. In 2016, the permafrost degradation rates at Eielson AFB were modeled using the Geophysics Institute Permafrost Laboratory (GIPL) 2.1 model and limited available geotechnical and climate data. Model results indicated a degradation of the discontinuous permafrost layer at Eielson AFB of up to 7 meters in depth over the next century. To further refine an understanding of the geophysics at Eielson AFB and help engineers and commanders make more informed decisions on engineering and operations in the arctic, this project established two permafrost monitoring stations near the future construction sites. Installation of the stations occurred in July 2017. Permafrost was located and characterized using two Electrical Resistivity Tomography surveys, as well as direct frost probe measurements. Using this data, the research team optimized the placement location and depth of two long term ground temperature monitoring stations, and then installed the stations for data collection. The data set generated by these stations are the first of their kind at Eielson AFB, and represent the first systematic effort in the DoD to quantify permafrost condition before, during, and after construction and other anthropogenic activities in order to fully understand the effects of that activity in the

  10. Utilization of ancient permafrost carbon in headwaters of Arctic fluvial networks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mann, Paul J.; Eglinton, Timothy I.; McIntyre, Cameron P.; Zimov, Nikita; Davydova, Anna; Vonk, Jorien E.; Holmes, Robert M.; Spencer, Robert G M

    2015-01-01

    Northern high-latitude rivers are major conduits of carbon from land to coastal seas and the Arctic Ocean. Arctic warming is promoting terrestrial permafrost thaw and shifting hydrologic flowpaths, leading to fluvial mobilization of ancient carbon stores. Here we describe 14 C and 13 C

  11. Constraining estimates of methane emissions from Arctic permafrost regions with CARVE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, R. Y.; Karion, A.; Sweeney, C.; Henderson, J.; Mountain, M.; Eluszkiewicz, J.; Luus, K. A.; Lin, J. C.; Dinardo, S.; Miller, C. E.; Wofsy, S. C.

    2013-12-01

    Permafrost in the Arctic contains large carbon pools that are currently non-labile, but can be released to the atmosphere as polar regions warm. In order to predict future climate scenarios, we need to understand the emissions of these greenhouse gases under varying environmental conditions. This study presents in-situ measurements of methane made on board an aircraft during the Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment (CARVE), which sampled over the permafrost regions of Alaska. Using measurements from May to September 2012, seasonal emission rate estimates of methane from tundra are constrained using the Stochastic Time-Inverted Lagrangian Transport model, a Lagrangian particle dispersion model driven by custom polar-WRF fields. Preliminary results suggest that methane emission rates have not greatly increased since the Arctic Boundary Layer Experiment conducted in southwest Alaska in 1988.

  12. A 20-year record (1998-2017) of permafrost, active layer and meteorological conditions at a high Arctic permafrost research site (Bayelva, Spitsbergen)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boike, Julia; Juszak, Inge; Lange, Stephan; Chadburn, Sarah; Burke, Eleanor; Overduin, Pier Paul; Roth, Kurt; Ippisch, Olaf; Bornemann, Niko; Stern, Lielle; Gouttevin, Isabelle; Hauber, Ernst; Westermann, Sebastian

    2018-03-01

    Most permafrost is located in the Arctic, where frozen organic carbon makes it an important component of the global climate system. Despite the fact that the Arctic climate changes more rapidly than the rest of the globe, observational data density in the region is low. Permafrost thaw and carbon release to the atmosphere are a positive feedback mechanism that can exacerbate global warming. This positive feedback functions via changing land-atmosphere energy and mass exchanges. There is thus a great need to understand links between the energy balance, which can vary rapidly over hourly to annual timescales, and permafrost, which changes slowly over long time periods. This understanding thus mandates long-term observational data sets. Such a data set is available from the Bayelva site at Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard, where meteorology, energy balance components and subsurface observations have been made for the last 20 years. Additional data include a high-resolution digital elevation model (DEM) that can be used together with the snow physical information for snowpack modeling and a panchromatic image. This paper presents the data set produced so far, explains instrumentation, calibration, processing and data quality control, as well as the sources for various resulting data sets. The resulting data set is unique in the Arctic and serves as a baseline for future studies. The mean permafrost temperature is -2.8 °C, with a zero-amplitude depth at 5.5 m (2009-2017). Since the data provide observations of temporally variable parameters that mitigate energy fluxes between permafrost and atmosphere, such as snow depth and soil moisture content, they are suitable for use in integrating, calibrating and testing permafrost as a component in earth system models.The presented data are available in the Supplement for this paper (time series) and through the PANGAEA and Zenodo data portals: time series (https://doi.org/10.1594/PANGAEA.880120, https://zenodo.org/record/1139714) and

  13. Nitrate and Moisture Content of Broad Permafrost Landscape Features in the Barrow Peninsula: Predicting Evolving NO3 Concentrations in a Changing Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arendt, C. A.; Heikoop, J. M.; Newman, B. D.; Wales, N. A.; McCaully, R. E.; Wilson, C. J.; Wullschleger, S.

    2017-12-01

    The geochemical evolution of Arctic regions as permafrost degrades, significantly impacts nutrient availability. The release of nitrogen compounds from permafrost degradation fertilizes both microbial decomposition and plant productivity. Arctic warming promotes permafrost degradation, causing geomorphic and hydrologic transitions that have the potential to convert saturated zones to unsaturated zones and subsequently alter the nitrate production capacity of permafrost regions. Changes in Nitrate (NO3-) content associated with shifting moisture regimes are a primary factor determining Arctic fertilization and subsequent primary productivity, and have direct feedbacks to carbon cycling. We have documented a broad survey of co-located soil moisture and nitrate concentration measurements in shallow active layer regions across a variety of topographic features in the expansive continuous permafrost region encompassing the Barrow Peninsula of Alaska. Topographic features of interest are slightly higher relative to surrounding landscapes with drier soils and elevated nitrate, including the rims of low centered polygons, the centers of flat and high centered polygons, the rims of young, old and ancient drain thaw lake basins and drainage slopes that exist across the landscape. With this information, we model the nitrate inventory of the Barrow Peninsula using multiple geospatial approaches to estimate total area cover by unsaturated features of interest and further predict how various drying scenarios increase the magnitude of nitrate produced in degrading permafrost regions across the Arctic. This work is supported by the US Department of Energy Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment, NGEE-Arctic.

  14. Petroleum contamination movement into permafrost in the high Arctic

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Biggar, K.W.

    1997-01-01

    The extent of petroleum hydrocarbon contamination that has penetrated the active layer into the permafrost at sites where spills have occurred in Canada's Arctic was discussed. There was evidence to suggest that hydrocarbon contamination may enter the permafrost layer through gravity drainage and cap suction through fissures in the frozen soil, and perhaps by diffusion through the unfrozen water of fine-grained soils. Core samples were taken in frozen silty clay to be sectioned and analyzed for total petroleum hydrocarbons, using ultrasonic solvent extraction and gas chromatography and mass spectrometry analysis. It was concluded that it is possible for petroleum contamination in permafrost to migrate by gravity drainage down soil fissures and then diffuse into surrounding soil. 2 figs

  15. A 20-year record (1998–2017 of permafrost, active layer and meteorological conditions at a high Arctic permafrost research site (Bayelva, Spitsbergen

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Boike

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Most permafrost is located in the Arctic, where frozen organic carbon makes it an important component of the global climate system. Despite the fact that the Arctic climate changes more rapidly than the rest of the globe, observational data density in the region is low. Permafrost thaw and carbon release to the atmosphere are a positive feedback mechanism that can exacerbate global warming. This positive feedback functions via changing land–atmosphere energy and mass exchanges. There is thus a great need to understand links between the energy balance, which can vary rapidly over hourly to annual timescales, and permafrost, which changes slowly over long time periods. This understanding thus mandates long-term observational data sets. Such a data set is available from the Bayelva site at Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard, where meteorology, energy balance components and subsurface observations have been made for the last 20 years. Additional data include a high-resolution digital elevation model (DEM that can be used together with the snow physical information for snowpack modeling and a panchromatic image. This paper presents the data set produced so far, explains instrumentation, calibration, processing and data quality control, as well as the sources for various resulting data sets. The resulting data set is unique in the Arctic and serves as a baseline for future studies. The mean permafrost temperature is −2.8 °C, with a zero-amplitude depth at 5.5 m (2009–2017. Since the data provide observations of temporally variable parameters that mitigate energy fluxes between permafrost and atmosphere, such as snow depth and soil moisture content, they are suitable for use in integrating, calibrating and testing permafrost as a component in earth system models.The presented data are available in the Supplement for this paper (time series and through the PANGAEA and Zenodo data portals: time series (https://doi.org/10.1594/PANGAEA.880120, https

  16. Seasonal and multi-year surface displacements measured by DInSAR in a High Arctic permafrost environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudy, Ashley C. A.; Lamoureux, Scott F.; Treitz, Paul; Short, Naomi; Brisco, Brian

    2018-02-01

    Arctic landscapes undergo seasonal and long-term changes as the active layer thaws and freezes, which can result in localized or irregular subsidence leading to the formation of thermokarst terrain. Differential Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (DInSAR) is a technique capable of measuring ground surface displacements resulting from thawing permafrost at centimetre precision and is quickly gaining acceptance as a means of measuring ground displacement in permafrost regions. Using RADARSAT-2 stacked DInSAR data from 2013 and 2015 we determined the magnitude and patterns of land surface change in a continuous permafrost environment. At our study site situated in the Canadian High Arctic, DInSAR seasonal ground displacement patterns were consistent with field observations of permafrost degradation. As expected, many DInSAR values are close to the detection threshold (i.e., 1 cm) and therefore do not indicate significant change; however, DInSAR seasonal ground displacement patterns aligned well with climatological and soil conditions and offer geomorphological insight into subsurface processes in permafrost environments. While our dataset is limited to two years of data representing a three-year time period, the displacements derived from DInSAR provide insight into permafrost change in a High Arctic environment and demonstrate that DInSAR is an applicable tool for understanding environmental change in remote permafrost regions.

  17. Scaling Laws in Arctic Permafrost River Basins: Statistical Signature in Transition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowland, J. C.; Gangodagamage, C.; Wilson, C. J.; Prancevic, J. P.; Brumby, S. P.; Marsh, P.; Crosby, B. T.

    2011-12-01

    The Arctic landscape has been shown to be fundamentally different from the temperate landscape in many ways. Long winters and cold temperatures have led to the development of permafrost, perennially frozen ground, that controls geomorphic processes and the structure of the Arctic landscape. Climate warming is causing changes in permafrost and the active layer (the seasonally thawed surface layer) that is driving an increase in thermal erosion including thermokarst (collapsed soil), retrogressive thaw slumps, and gullies. These geomorphic anomalies in the arctic landscapes have not been well quantified, even though some of the landscape geomorphic and hydrologic characteristics and changes are detectable by our existing sensor networks. We currently lack understanding of the fundamental fluvio-thermal-erosional processes that underpin Arctic landscape structure and form, which limits our ability to develop models to predict the landscape response to current and future climate change. In this work, we seek a unified framework that can explain why permafrost landscapes are different from temperate landscapes. We use high resolution LIDAR data to analyze arctic geomorphic processes at a scale of less than a 1 m and demonstrate our ability to quantify the fundamental difference in the arctic landscape. We first simulate the arctic hillslopes from a stochastic space-filling network and demonstrate that the flow-path convergent properties of arctic landscape can be effectively captured from this simple model, where the simple model represents a landscape flowpath arrangement on a relatively impervious frozen soil layer. Further, we use a novel data processing algorithm to analyze landscape attributes such as slope, curvature, flow-accumulation, elevation-drops and other geomorphic properties, and show that the pattern of diffusion and advection dominated soil transport processes (diffusion/advection regime transition) in the arctic landscape is substantially different

  18. Activation of old carbon by erosion of coastal and subsea permafrost in Arctic Siberia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vonk, J E; Sánchez-García, L; van Dongen, B E; Alling, V; Kosmach, D; Charkin, A; Semiletov, I P; Dudarev, O V; Shakhova, N; Roos, P; Eglinton, T I; Andersson, A; Gustafsson, O

    2012-09-06

    The future trajectory of greenhouse gas concentrations depends on interactions between climate and the biogeosphere. Thawing of Arctic permafrost could release significant amounts of carbon into the atmosphere in this century. Ancient Ice Complex deposits outcropping along the ~7,000-kilometre-long coastline of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS), and associated shallow subsea permafrost, are two large pools of permafrost carbon, yet their vulnerabilities towards thawing and decomposition are largely unknown. Recent Arctic warming is stronger than has been predicted by several degrees, and is particularly pronounced over the coastal ESAS region. There is thus a pressing need to improve our understanding of the links between permafrost carbon and climate in this relatively inaccessible region. Here we show that extensive release of carbon from these Ice Complex deposits dominates (57 ± 2 per cent) the sedimentary carbon budget of the ESAS, the world’s largest continental shelf, overwhelming the marine and topsoil terrestrial components. Inverse modelling of the dual-carbon isotope composition of organic carbon accumulating in ESAS surface sediments, using Monte Carlo simulations to account for uncertainties, suggests that 44 ± 10 teragrams of old carbon is activated annually from Ice Complex permafrost, an order of magnitude more than has been suggested by previous studies. We estimate that about two-thirds (66 ± 16 per cent) of this old carbon escapes to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, with the remainder being re-buried in shelf sediments. Thermal collapse and erosion of these carbon-rich Pleistocene coastline and seafloor deposits may accelerate with Arctic amplification of climate warming.

  19. Landsat time series analysis documents beaver migration into permafrost landscapes of arctic Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, B. M.; Tape, K. D.; Nitze, I.; Arp, C. D.; Grosse, G.; Zimmerman, C. E.

    2017-12-01

    Landscape-scale impacts of climate change in the Arctic include increases in growing season length, shrubby vegetation, winter river discharge, snowfall, summer and winter water temperatures, and decreases in river and lake ice thickness. Combined, these changes may have created conditions that are suitable for beaver colonization of low Arctic tundra regions. We developed a semi-automated workflow that analyzes Landsat imagery time series to determine the extent to which beavers may have colonized permafrost landscapes in arctic Alaska since 1999. We tested this approach on the Lower Noatak, Wulik, and Kivalina river watersheds in northwest Alaska and identified 83 locations representing potential beaver activity. Seventy locations indicated wetting trends and 13 indicated drying trends. Verification of each site using high-resolution satellite imagery showed that 80 % of the wetting locations represented beaver activity (damming and pond formation), 11 % were unrelated to beavers, and 9 % could not readily be distinguished as being beaver related or not. For the drying locations, 31 % represented beaver activity (pond drying due to dam abandonment), 62 % were unrelated to beavers, and 7 % were undetermined. Comparison of the beaver activity database with historic aerial photography from ca. 1950 and ca. 1980 indicates that beavers have recently colonized or recolonized riparian corridors in northwest Alaska. Remote sensing time series observations associated with the migration of beavers in permafrost landscapes in arctic Alaska include thermokarst lake expansion and drainage, thaw slump initiation, ice wedge degradation, thermokarst shore fen development, and possibly development of lake and river taliks. Additionally, beaver colonization in the Arctic may alter channel courses, thermal regimes, hyporheic flow, riparian vegetation, and winter ice regimes that could impact ecosystem structure and function in this region. In particular, the combination of beaver

  20. The thin brown line: The crucial role of peat in protecting permafrost in Arctic Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaglioti, B.; Mann, D. H.; Farquharson, L. M.; Baughman, C. A.; Jones, B. M.; Romanovsky, V. E.; Williams, A. P.; Andreu-Hayles, L.

    2017-12-01

    Ongoing warming threatens to thaw Arctic permafrost and release its stored carbon, which could trigger a permafrost-carbon feedback capable of augmenting global warming. The effects of warming air temperatures on permafrost are complicated by the fact that across much of the Arctic and Subarctic a mat of living plants and decaying litter cover the ground and buffer underlying permafrost from air temperatures. For simplicity here, we refer to this organic mat as "peat". Because this peat modifies heat flow between ground and air, the rate and magnitude of permafrost responses to changing climate - and hence the permafrost-carbon feedback - are partly slaved to the peat layer's slower dynamics. To explore this relationship, we used 14C-age offsets within lake sediments in Alaskan watersheds underlain by yedoma deposits to track the changing responses of permafrost thaw to fluctuating climate as peat accumulated over the last 14,000 years. As the peat layer built up, warming events became less effective at thawing permafrost and releasing ancient carbon. Consistent with this age-offset record, the geological record shows that early in post-glacial times when the peat cover was still thin and limited in extent, warm intervals triggered extensive thermokarst that resulted in rapid aggradation of floodplains. Today in contrast, hillslopes and floodplains remain stable despite rapid warming, probably because of the buffering effects of the extensive peat cover. Another natural experiment is provided by tundra fires like the 2007 Anaktuvuk River fire that removed the peat cover from tundra underlain by continuous permafrost and resulted in widespread thermkarsting. Further support for peat's critical role in protecting permafrost comes from the results of modeling how permafrost temperatures under different peat thicknesses respond to warming air temperature. Although post-industrial warming has not yet surpassed the buffering capacity of 14,000 years of peat buildup in

  1. Modeling sub-sea permafrost in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf: the Dmitry Laptev Strait

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nicolsky, D; Shakhova, N

    2010-01-01

    The present state of sub-sea permafrost modeling does not agree with certain observational data on the permafrost state within the East Siberian Arctic Shelf. This suggests a need to consider other mechanisms of permafrost destabilization after the recent ocean transgression. We propose development of open taliks wherever thaw lakes and river paleo-valleys were submerged shelf-wide as a possible mechanism for the degradation of sub-sea permafrost. To test the hypothesis we performed numerical modeling of permafrost dynamics in the Dmitry Laptev Strait area. We achieved sufficient agreement with the observed distribution of thawed and frozen layers to suggest that the proposed mechanism of permafrost destabilization is plausible.

  2. A dynamic ecosystem process model for understanding interactions between permafrost thawing and vegetation responses in the arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, C.; Travis, B. J.; Fisher, R. A.; Wilson, C. J.; McDowell, N.

    2010-12-01

    The arctic is expected to play an important role in the Earth’s future climate due to the large carbon stocks that are stored in permafrost and peatlands, a substantial proportion of which may be released to the atmosphere due to permafrost thawing. There may be positive feedbacks of permafrost thawing on plant growth by releasing stored nitrogen and increasing rooting depth; however, vegetation response to other changing variables such as CO2 and temperature can also modify soil hydrology and energy fluxes, leading to either positive or negative feedbacks on permafrost thawing. Disentangling the interactions between permafrost thawing and vegetation growth is critical for assessing the potential role of arctic regions on current and future global carbon cycling. We have developed a mechanistic, regional, and spatially explicit dynamic ecosystem process model through the integration of a 3-D soil hydrology and biogeochemistry model (Arctic Hydrology, ARCHY) and a dynamic vegetation model (Ecosystem Demography, ED), to quantify the importance of plant-permafrost interactions to soil and plant carbon storage. This model integrates important processes including photosynthesis, transpiration, respiration, 3-D competition for light, 3-D soil hydrology, energy fluxes (ice melting in the soil and solar radiation interception by canopy), nitrogen cycles (microbial decomposition, nitrogen transportation in soil, passive and active nitrogen uptake by plants), species migration, and drought-related mortality. A sensitivity analysis has been implemented to assess the importance of the hydrological cycle, the nitrogen cycle and energy fluxes in regulating the above and below-ground carbon cycles in arctic regions. Our model can fill an important gap between field and global land surface models for assessing plot and regional level hypotheses in the context of global climate.

  3. Improving Permafrost Hydrology Prediction Through Data-Model Integration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, C. J.; Andresen, C. G.; Atchley, A. L.; Bolton, W. R.; Busey, R.; Coon, E.; Charsley-Groffman, L.

    2017-12-01

    The CMIP5 Earth System Models were unable to adequately predict the fate of the 16GT of permafrost carbon in a warming climate due to poor representation of Arctic ecosystem processes. The DOE Office of Science Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment, NGEE-Arctic project aims to reduce uncertainty in the Arctic carbon cycle and its impact on the Earth's climate system by improved representation of the coupled physical, chemical and biological processes that drive how much buried carbon will be converted to CO2 and CH4, how fast this will happen, which form will dominate, and the degree to which increased plant productivity will offset increased soil carbon emissions. These processes fundamentally depend on permafrost thaw rate and its influence on surface and subsurface hydrology through thermal erosion, land subsidence and changes to groundwater flow pathways as soil, bedrock and alluvial pore ice and massive ground ice melts. LANL and its NGEE colleagues are co-developing data and models to better understand controls on permafrost degradation and improve prediction of the evolution of permafrost and its impact on Arctic hydrology. The LANL Advanced Terrestrial Simulator was built using a state of the art HPC software framework to enable the first fully coupled 3-dimensional surface-subsurface thermal-hydrology and land surface deformation simulations to simulate the evolution of the physical Arctic environment. Here we show how field data including hydrology, snow, vegetation, geochemistry and soil properties, are informing the development and application of the ATS to improve understanding of controls on permafrost stability and permafrost hydrology. The ATS is being used to inform parameterizations of complex coupled physical, ecological and biogeochemical processes for implementation in the DOE ACME land model, to better predict the role of changing Arctic hydrology on the global climate system. LA-UR-17-26566.

  4. The Role of Arctic Soils in the Permafrost – Climate Feedback

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Richter, A.

    2016-01-01

    The total organic carbon pool in arctic and boreal permafrost soils has been estimated to be about 1,760 Petagram (10"1"5 g) C, more than twice today’s atmospheric C pool and about half of the global soil carbon. A significant proportion of this C pool may be vulnerable to climate warming through permafrost thawing and subsequent decomposition by microorganisms. Thus, it has been suggested that permafrost soils may become a future source of CO_2 and CH_4 to the atmosphere and lead to a strong positive feedback to global warming (up to + 0.5 °C until 2200). I will present results from several projects that aimed at understanding the mechanisms behind the permafrost-climate feedback, by identifying the major soil organic matter (SOM) stabilization mechanisms of permafrost SOM. I will address a range of different mechanisms by which SOM can be protected from decomposition, such as unfavourable temperature and moisture regimes, physical protection by formation of organo-mineral associations and chemical recalcitrance of SOM. I will focus, however, on energy and nutrient constraints of heterotrophic microbial communities and their role in SOM decomposition. I will then show that the physiology of the tiniest organisms on Earth will ultimately determine the vulnerability of the global permafrost carbon pool and thus the global permafrost-climate feedback. (author)

  5. Climate Change and Thawing Permafrost in Two Iñupiaq Communities of Alaska's Arctic: Observations, Implications, and Resilience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodward, A.; Kofinas, G.

    2013-12-01

    For thousands of years the Iñupiat of northern Alaska have relied on ecosystems underlain by permafrost for material and cultural resources. As permafrost thaws across the Arctic, these social-ecological systems are changing rapidly. Community-based research and extensive local knowledge of Iñupiaq villagers offer unique and valuable contributions to understanding permafrost change and its implications for humans. We partnered with two Iñupiaq communities in Alaska's Arctic to investigate current and potential effects of thawing permafrost on social-ecological systems. Anaktuvuk Pass is situated on thaw-stable consolidated gravel in the Brooks Range, while Selawik rests on ice-rich permafrost in Beringia lowland tundra. Using the transdisciplinary approach of resilience theory and mixed geophysical and ethnographic methods, we measured active layer thaw depths and documented local knowledge about climate and permafrost change. Thaw depths were greater overall in Selawik. Residents of both communities reported a variety of changes in surface features, hydrology, weather, flora, and fauna that they attribute to thawing permafrost and / or climate change. Overall, Selawik residents described more numerous and extreme examples of such changes, expressed higher degrees of certainty that change is occurring, and anticipated more significant and negative implications for their way of life than did residents of Anaktuvuk Pass. Of the two villages, Selawik faces greater and more immediate challenges to the resilience of its social-ecological system as permafrost thaws.

  6. Changing Permafrost in the Arctic and its Global Effects in the 21st Century (PAGE21): A very large international and integrated project to measure the impact of permafrost degradation on the climate system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lantuit, Hugues; Boike, Julia; Dahms, Melanie; Hubberten, Hans-Wolfgang

    2013-04-01

    climate-change mitigation. The concept of PAGE21 is to directly address these questions through a close interaction between monitoring activities, proc-ess studies and modeling on the pertinent temporal and spatial scales. Field sites have been selected to cover a wide range of environmental conditions for the validation of large scale mod-els, the development of permafrost monitoring capabilities, the study of permafrost processes, and for overlap with existing monitoring programs. PAGE21 will contribute to upgrading the project sites with the objective of providing a measurement baseline, both for process studies and for modeling programs. PAGE21 is determined to break down the traditional barriers in permafrost sciences between observational and model-supported site studies and large-scale climate modeling. Our concept for the interaction between site-scale studies and large-scale modeling is to establish and maintain a direct link be-tween these two areas for developing and evaluating, on all spatial scales, the land-surface modules of leading European global climate models taking part in the Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5), designed to inform the IPCC process. The timing of this project is such that the main scientific results from PAGE21, and in particular the model-based assessments will build entirely on new outputs and results from the CMIP5 Climate Model Intercomparison Project designed to inform the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report. However, PAGE21 is designed to leave a legacy that will en-dure beyond the lifetime of the projections that it produces. This legacy will comprise • an improved understanding of the key processes and parameters that determine the vulnerability of arctic permafrost to climate change, • the production of a suite of major European coupled climate models including detailed and validated repre-sentations of permafrost-related processes, that will reduce uncertainties in future climate projections pro-duced well

  7. Methanogen community composition and rates of methane consumption in Canadian High Arctic permafrost soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allan, J; Ronholm, J; Mykytczuk, N C S; Greer, C W; Onstott, T C; Whyte, L G

    2014-04-01

    Increasing permafrost thaw, driven by climate change, has the potential to result in organic carbon stores being mineralized into carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) through microbial activity. This study examines the effect of increasing temperature on community structure and metabolic activity of methanogens from the Canadian High Arctic, in an attempt to predict how warming will affect microbially controlled CH4 soil flux. In situ CO2 and CH4 flux, measured in 2010 and 2011 from ice-wedge polygons, indicate that these soil formations are a net source of CO2 emissions, but a CH4 sink. Permafrost and active layer soil samples were collected at the same sites and incubated under anaerobic conditions at warmer temperatures, with and without substrate amendment. Gas flux was measured regularly and indicated an increase in CH4 flux after extended incubation. Pyrosequencing was used to examine the effects of an extended thaw cycle on methanogen diversity and the results indicate that in situ methanogen diversity, based on the relative abundance of the 16S ribosomal ribonucleic acid (rRNA) gene associated with known methanogens, is higher in the permafrost than in the active layer. Methanogen diversity was also shown to increase in both the active layer and permafrost soil after an extended thaw. This study provides evidence that although High Arctic ice-wedge polygons are currently a sink for CH4, higher arctic temperatures and anaerobic conditions, a possible result of climate change, could result in this soil becoming a source for CH4 gas flux. © 2013 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Reviews and syntheses: Effects of permafrost thaw on Arctic aquatic ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vonk, J.E.; Tank, S.E.; Bowden, W.B.; Laurion, I.; Vincent, W.F.; Alekseychik, P.; Amyot, Y.; Billet, M.F.; Canario, J.; Cory, R.M.; Deshpande, B.N.; Helbig, M.; Jammet, M.; Karlsson, J.; Larouche, J.; MacMillan, G.; Rautio, Milla; Walter Anthony, K.M.; Wickland, Kimberly P.

    2015-01-01

    The Arctic is a water-rich region, with freshwater systems covering about 16 % of the northern permafrost landscape. Permafrost thaw creates new freshwater ecosystems, while at the same time modifying the existing lakes, streams, and rivers that are impacted by thaw. Here, we describe the current state of knowledge regarding how permafrost thaw affects lentic (still) and lotic (moving) systems, exploring the effects of both thermokarst (thawing and collapse of ice-rich permafrost) and deepening of the active layer (the surface soil layer that thaws and refreezes each year). Within thermokarst, we further differentiate between the effects of thermokarst in lowland areas vs. that on hillslopes. For almost all of the processes that we explore, the effects of thaw vary regionally, and between lake and stream systems. Much of this regional variation is caused by differences in ground ice content, topography, soil type, and permafrost coverage. Together, these modifying factors determine (i) the degree to which permafrost thaw manifests as thermokarst, (ii) whether thermokarst leads to slumping or the formation of thermokarst lakes, and (iii) the manner in which constituent delivery to freshwater systems is altered by thaw. Differences in thaw-enabled constituent delivery can be considerable, with these modifying factors determining, for example, the balance between delivery of particulate vs. dissolved constituents, and inorganic vs. organic materials. Changes in the composition of thaw-impacted waters, coupled with changes in lake morphology, can strongly affect the physical and optical properties of thermokarst lakes. The ecology of thaw-impacted lakes and streams is also likely to change; these systems have unique microbiological communities, and show differences in respiration, primary production, and food web structure that are largely driven by differences in sediment, dissolved organic matter, and nutrient delivery. The degree to which thaw enables the delivery

  9. Elevation-based upscaling of organic carbon stocks in High-Arctic permafrost terrain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Weiss, Niels; Faucherre, Samuel; Lampiris, Nikos

    2017-01-01

    Accurate quantity and distribution estimates of permafrost soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks are needed to project potential feedbacks to climate, following warming. Still, upscaling from local field observations to regional estimates to circumarctic assessments remains a challenge. Here we explore...... elevation-based upscaling techniques for High-Arctic permafrost SOC stocks. We combine two detailed, high-resolution SOC inventories on Spitsbergen (Svalbard) with regional validation data. We find a clear relationship between elevation and SOC content, and use this observed exponential correlation, as well...... as discrete elevation classes, as upscaling models for Spitsbergen. We estimate the total amount of permafrost SOC currently present in soils on Spitsbergen to be 105.36 Tg (0.11 Pg), with a mean SOC content of 2.84 ± 0.74 kg C m−2 (mean ± 95% confidence interval). Excluding glaciers and permanent snowfields...

  10. Groundwater storage changes in arctic permafrost watersheds from GRACE and in situ measurements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Muskett, Reginald R; Romanovsky, Vladimir E

    2009-01-01

    The Arctic permafrost regions make up the largest area component of the cryosphere. Observations from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) mission offer to provide a greater understanding of changes in water mass within permafrost regions. We investigate a GRACE monthly time series, snow water equivalent from the special scanning microwave imager (SSM/I), vegetation water content and soil moisture from the advanced microwave scanning radiometer for the Earth observation system (AMSR-E) and in situ discharge of the Lena, Yenisei, Ob', and Mackenzie watersheds. The GRACE water equivalent mass change responded to mass loading by snow accumulation in winter and mass unloading by runoff in spring-summer. Comparison of secular trends from GRACE to runoff suggests groundwater storage increased in the Lena and Yenisei watersheds, decreased in the Mackenzie watershed, and was unchanged in the Ob' watershed. We hypothesize that the groundwater storage changes are linked to the development of closed- and open-talik in the continuous permafrost zone and the decrease of permafrost lateral extent in the discontinuous permafrost zone of the watersheds.

  11. Threshold sensitivity of shallow Arctic lakes and sublake permafrost to changing winter climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arp, Christopher D.; Jones, Benjamin M.; Grosse, Guido; Bondurant, Allen C.; Romanovksy, Vladimir E.; Hinkel, Kenneth M.; Parsekian, Andrew D.

    2016-01-01

    Interactions and feedbacks between abundant surface waters and permafrost fundamentally shape lowland Arctic landscapes. Sublake permafrost is maintained when the maximum ice thickness (MIT) exceeds lake depth and mean annual bed temperatures (MABTs) remain below freezing. However, declining MIT since the 1970s is likely causing talik development below shallow lakes. Here we show high-temperature sensitivity to winter ice growth at the water-sediment interface of shallow lakes based on year-round lake sensor data. Empirical model experiments suggest that shallow (1 m depth) lakes have warmed substantially over the last 30 years (2.4°C), with MABT above freezing 5 of the last 7 years. This is in comparison to slower rates of warming in deeper (3 m) lakes (0.9°C), with already well-developed taliks. Our findings indicate that permafrost below shallow lakes has already begun crossing a critical thawing threshold approximately 70 years prior to predicted terrestrial permafrost thaw in northern Alaska.

  12. Distribution and biophysical processes of beaded streams in Arctic permafrost landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arp, Christopher D.; Whitman, Matthew S.; Jones, Benjamin M.; Grosse, Guido; Gaglioti, Benjamin V.; Heim, Kurt C.

    2015-01-01

    Beaded streams are widespread in permafrost regions and are considered a common thermokarst landform. However, little is known about their distribution, how and under what conditions they form, and how their intriguing morphology translates to ecosystem functions and habitat. Here we report on a Circum-Arctic survey of beaded streams and a watershed-scale analysis in northern Alaska using remote sensing and field studies. We mapped over 400 channel networks with beaded morphology throughout the continuous permafrost zone of northern Alaska, Canada, and Russia and found the highest abundance associated with medium- to high- ground ice content permafrost in moderately sloping terrain. In the Fish Creek watershed, beaded streams accounted for half of the drainage density, occurring primarily as low-order channels initiating from lakes and drained lake basins. Beaded streams predictably transition to alluvial channels with increasing drainage area and decreasing channel slope, although this transition is modified by local controls on water and sediment delivery. Comparison of one beaded channel using repeat photography between 1948 and 2013 indicate a relatively stable landform and 14C dating of basal sediments suggest channel formation may be as early as the Pleistocene-Holocene transition. Contemporary processes, such as deep snow accumulation in riparian zones effectively insulates channel ice and allows for perennial liquid water below most beaded stream pools. Because of this, mean annual temperatures in pool beds are greater than 2°C, leading to the development of perennial thaw bulbs or taliks underlying these thermokarst features. In the summer, some pools thermally stratify, which reduces permafrost thaw and maintains coldwater habitats. Snowmelt generated peak-flows decrease rapidly by two or more orders of magnitude to summer low flows with slow reach-scale velocity distributions ranging from 0.1 to 0.01 m/s, yet channel runs still move water rapidly

  13. Potential Arctic tundra vegetation shifts in response to changing temperature, precipitation and permafrost thaw

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kolk, van der Henk-Jan; Heijmans, M.M.P.D.; Huissteden, van J.; Pullens, J.W.M.; Berendse, F.

    2016-01-01

    Over the past decades, vegetation and climate have changed significantly in the Arctic. Deciduous shrub cover is often assumed to expand in tundra landscapes, but more frequent abrupt permafrost thaw resulting in formation of thaw ponds could lead to vegetation shifts towards graminoid-dominated

  14. Mapping Deep Low Velocity Zones in Alaskan Arctic Coastal Permafrost using Seismic Surface Waves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dou, S.; Ajo Franklin, J. B.; Dreger, D. S.

    2012-12-01

    Permafrost degradation may be an important amplifier of climate change; Thawing of near-surface sediments holds the potential of increasing greenhouse gas emissions due to microbial decomposition of preserved organic carbon. Recently, the characterization of "deep" carbon pools (several meters below the surface) in circumpolar frozen ground has increased the estimated amount of soil carbon to three times higher than what was previously thought. It is therefore potentially important to include the characteristics and processes of deeper permafrost strata (on the orders of a few to tens of meters below surface) in climate models for improving future predictions of accessible carbon and climate feedbacks. This extension is particularly relevant if deeper formations are not completely frozen and may harbor on-going microbial activity despite sub-zero temperatures. Unfortunately, the characterization of deep permafrost systems is non-trivial; logistics and drilling constraints often limit direct characterization to relatively shallow units. Geophysical measurements, either surface or airborne, are often the most effective tools for evaluating these regions. Of the available geophysical techniques, the analysis of seismic surface waves (e.g. MASW) has several unique advantages, mainly the ability to provide field-scale information with good depth resolution as well as penetration (10s to 100s of m with small portable sources). Surface wave methods are also able to resolve low velocity regions, a class of features that is difficult to characterize using traditional P-wave refraction methods. As part of the Department of Energy (DOE) Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE-Arctic) project, we conducted a three-day seismic field survey (May 12 - 14, 2012) at the Barrow Environmental Observatory, which is located within the Alaskan Arctic Coastal Plain. Even though permafrost at the study site is continuous, ice-rich and thick (>= 350m), our Multichannel Analysis of

  15. On the use of mulching to mitigate permafrost thaw due to linear disturbances in sub-arctic peatlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    The presence or absence of permafrost significantly influences the hydrology and ecology of northern watersheds. Resource exploration activities are currently having noticeable effects on hydrological and ecological processes in sub-arctic peatlands. Disturbances such as seismic cutlines can result ...

  16. Radiocarbon age-offsets in an arctic lake reveal the long-term response of permafrost carbon to climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaglioti, Benjamin V.; Mann, Daniel H.; Jones, Benjamin M.; Pohlman, John W.; Kunz, Michael L.; Wooller, Matthew J.

    2014-01-01

    Continued warming of the Arctic may cause permafrost to thaw and speed the decomposition of large stores of soil organic carbon (OC), thereby accentuating global warming. However, it is unclear if recent warming has raised the current rates of permafrost OC release to anomalous levels or to what extent soil carbon release is sensitive to climate forcing. Here we use a time series of radiocarbon age-offsets (14C) between the bulk lake sediment and plant macrofossils deposited in an arctic lake as an archive for soil and permafrost OC release over the last 14,500 years. The lake traps and archives OC imported from the watershed and allows us to test whether prior warming events stimulated old carbon release and heightened age-offsets. Today, the age-offset (2 ka; thousand of calibrated years before A.D. 1950) and the depositional rate of ancient OC from the watershed into the lake are relatively low and similar to those during the Younger Dryas cold interval (occurring 12.9–11.7 ka). In contrast, age-offsets were higher (3.0–5.0 ka) when summer air temperatures were warmer than present during the Holocene Thermal Maximum (11.7–9.0 ka) and Bølling-Allerød periods (14.5–12.9 ka). During these warm times, permafrost thaw contributed to ancient OC depositional rates that were ~10 times greater than today. Although permafrost OC was vulnerable to climate warming in the past, we suggest surface soil organic horizons and peat are presently limiting summer thaw and carbon release. As a result, the temperature threshold to trigger widespread permafrost OC release is higher than during previous warming events.

  17. Improved Understanding of Permafrost Controls on Hydrology in Interior Alaska by Integration of Ground-Based Geophysical Permafrost Characterization and Numerical Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-05-01

    freeze/thaw dynamics, geophysics, ground ice, groundwater modeling, hydrologic impacts , interior Alaska, lakes, permafrost, sub-arctic, taliks, Yukon...21  Figure 4.1.1 Location map of Beaver Meadow and Twelvemile study areas...modeling, hydrologic impacts , interior Alaska, lakes, permafrost, sub-arctic, taliks, Yukon Flats Acknowledgements We would like to

  18. Mapping ice-bonded permafrost with electrical methods in Sisimiut, West Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ingeman-Nielsen, Thomas

    2006-01-01

    Permafrost delineation and thickness determination is of great importance in engineering related projects in arctic areas. In this paper, 2D geoelectrical measurements are applied and evaluated for permafrost mapping in an area in West Greenland. Multi-electrode resistivity profiles (MEP) have been...... collected and are compared with borehole information. It is shown that the permafrost thickness in this case is grossly overestimated by a factor of two to three. The difference between the inverted 2D resistivity sections and the borehole information is explained by macro-anisotropy due to the presence...... of horizontal ice-lenses in the frozen clay deposits. It is concluded that where the resistivity method perform well for lateral permafrost mapping, great care should be taken in evaluating permafrost thickness based on 2D resistivity profiles alone. Additional information from boreholes or other geophysical...

  19. Rapid responses of permafrost and vegetation to experimentally increased snow cover in sub-arctic Sweden

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johansson, Margareta; Bosiö, Julia; Akerman, H Jonas; Jackowicz-Korczynski, Marcin; Christensen, Torben R; Callaghan, Terry V

    2013-01-01

    Increased snow depth already observed, and that predicted for the future are of critical importance to many geophysical and biological processes as well as human activities. The future characteristics of sub-arctic landscapes where permafrost is particularly vulnerable will depend on complex interactions between snow cover, vegetation and permafrost. An experimental manipulation was, therefore, set up on a lowland peat plateau with permafrost, in northernmost Sweden, to simulate projected future increases in winter precipitation and to study their effects on permafrost and vegetation. After seven years of treatment, statistically significant differences between manipulated and control plots were found in mean winter ground temperatures, which were 1.5 ° C higher in manipulated plots. During the winter, a difference in minimum temperatures of up to 9 ° C higher could be found in individual manipulated plots compared with control plots. Active layer thicknesses increased at the manipulated plots by almost 20% compared with the control plots and a mean surface subsidence of 24 cm was recorded in the manipulated plots compared to 5 cm in the control plots. The graminoid Eriophorum vaginatum has expanded in the manipulated plots and the vegetation remained green longer in the season. (letter)

  20. River Export of Dissolved and Particulate Organic Carbon from Permafrost and Peat Deposits across the Siberian Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wild, B.; Andersson, A.; Bröder, L.; Vonk, J.; Hugelius, G.; McClelland, J. W.; Raymond, P. A.; Gustafsson, O.

    2017-12-01

    Permafrost and peat deposits of northern high latitudes store more than 1300 Pg of organic carbon. This carbon has been preserved for thousands of years by cold and moist conditions, but is now increasingly mobilized as temperatures rise. While part will be degraded to CO2 and CH4 and amplify global warming, part will be exported by rivers to the Arctic Ocean where it can be degraded or re-buried by sedimentation. We here use the four large Siberian rivers Ob, Yenisey, Lena, and Kolyma as natural integrators of carbon mobilization in their catchments. We apply isotope based source apportionments and Markov Chain Monte Carlo Simulations to quantify contributions of organic carbon from permafrost and peat deposits to organic carbon exported by these rivers. More specifically, we compare the 14C signatures of dissolved and particulate organic carbon (DOC, POC) sampled close to the river mouths with those of five potential carbon sources; (1) recent aquatic and (2) terrestrial primary production, (3) the active layer of permafrost soils, (4) deep Holocene deposits (including thermokarst and peat deposits) and (5) Ice Complex Deposits. 14C signatures of these endmembers were constrained based on extensive literature review. We estimate that the four rivers together exported 2.4-4.5 Tg organic carbon from permafrost and peat deposits per year. While total organic carbon export was dominated by DOC (90%), the export of organic carbon from permafrost and peat deposits was more equally distributed between DOC (56%) and POC (44%). Recent models predict that ca. 200 Pg carbon will be lost as CO2 or CH4 by 2100 (RCP8.5) from the circumarctic permafrost area, of which roughly a quarter is drained by the Ob, Yenisey, Lena, and Kolyma rivers. Our comparatively low estimates of river carbon export thus suggest limited transfer of organic carbon from permafrost and peat deposits to high latitude rivers, or its rapid degradation within rivers. Our findings highlight the importance

  1. Collaborative Research. Quantifying Climate Feedbacks of the Terrestrial Biosphere under Thawing Permafrost Conditions in the Arctic

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhuang, Qianlai [Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States); Schlosser, Courtney [Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States); Melillo, Jerry [Marine Biological Lab. (MBL), Woods Hole, MA (United States); Walter, Katey [Univ. of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK (United States)

    2015-09-15

    Our overall goal is to quantify the potential for threshold changes in natural emission rates of trace gases, particularly methane and carbon dioxide, from pan-arctic terrestrial systems under the spectrum of anthropogenically-forced climate warming, and the conditions under which these emissions provide a strong feedback mechanism to global climate warming. This goal is motivated under the premise that polar amplification of global climate warming will induce widespread thaw and degradation of the permafrost, and would thus cause substantial changes to the landscape of wetlands and lakes, especially thermokarst (thaw) lakes, across the Arctic. Through a suite of numerical experiments that encapsulate the fundamental processes governing methane emissions and carbon exchanges – as well as their coupling to the global climate system - we intend to test the following hypothesis in the proposed research: There exists a climate warming threshold beyond which permafrost degradation becomes widespread and stimulates large increases in methane emissions (via thermokarst lakes and poorly-drained wetland areas upon thawing permafrost along with microbial metabolic responses to higher temperatures) and increases in carbon dioxide emissions from well-drained areas. Besides changes in biogeochemistry, this threshold will also influence global energy dynamics through effects on surface albedo, evapotranspiration and water vapor. These changes would outweigh any increased uptake of carbon (e.g. from peatlands and higher plant photosynthesis) and would result in a strong, positive feedback to global climate warming.

  2. A case study of high Arctic anthropogenic disturbance to polar desert permafrost and ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, M. S.; Pollard, W. H.

    2013-12-01

    One of the indirect impacts of climate change on Arctic ecosystems is the expected increase of industrial development in high latitudes. The scale of terrestrial impacts cannot be known ahead of time, particularly due to a lack of long-term impact studies in this region. With one of the slowest community recovery rates of any ecosystem, the high Artic biome will be under a considerable threat that is exacerbated by a high susceptibility to change in the permafrost thermal balance. One such area that provides a suitable location for study is an old airstrip near Eureka, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut (80.0175°N, 85.7340°W). While primarily used as an ice-runway for winter transport, the airstrip endured a yearly summer removal of vegetation that continued from 1947 until its abandonment in 1951. Since then, significant vegetative and geomorphic differences between disturbed and undisturbed areas have been noted in the literature throughout the decades (Bruggemann, 1953; Beschel, 1963; Couture and Pollard, 2007), but no system wide assessment of both the ecosystem and near-surface permafrost has been conducted. Key to our study is that the greatest apparent geomorphic and vegetative changes have occurred and persisted in areas where underlying ice-wedges have been disturbed. This suggests that the colonizing communities rapidly filled new available thermokarst niches and have produced an alternative ice-wedge stable state than the surrounding polar desert. We hypothesize that disturbed areas will currently have greater depths of thaw (deeper active layers) and degraded ice-wedges, with decreased vegetation diversity but higher abundance due to a changed hydrological balance. To test this a comprehensive set of near-surface active layer and ecosystem measurements were conducted. Permafrost dynamics were characterized using probing and high-frequency Ground Penetrating Radar (500 MHz) to map the near-surface details of ice-wedges and active layer. Vegetation was measured

  3. High biolability of ancient permafrost carbon upon thaw

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vonk, J.E.; Mann, P.J.; Davydov, S.; Davydova, A.; Spencer, R.G.M.; Schade, J.; Sobczak, W.V.; Zimov, S.; Bulygina, E.; Eglinton, T.I.; Holmes, R.M.

    2013-01-01

    Ongoing climate warming in the Arctic will thaw permafrost and remobilize substantial terrestrial organic carbon (OC) pools. Around a quarter of northern permafrost OC resides in Siberian Yedoma deposits, the oldest form of permafrost carbon. However, our understanding of the degradation and

  4. Collaborative Research: Quantifying Climate Feedbacks of the Terrestrial Biosphere under Thawing Permafrost Conditions in the Arctic

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Melillo, Jerry [Marine Biological Lab., Woods Hole, MA (United States)

    2017-12-12

    Our overall goal in this research was to quantify the potential for threshold changes in natural emission rates of trace gases, particularly methane and carbon dioxide, from pan-arctic terrestrial systems under the spectrum of anthropogenically-forced climate warming, and the conditions under which these emissions provide a strong feedback mechanism to global climate warming. This goal was motivated under the premise that polar amplification of global climate warming will induce widespread thaw and degradation of the permafrost, and would thus cause substantial changes to the landscape of wetlands and lakes, especially thermokarst (thaw) lakes, across the Arctic. Through a suite of numerical experiments that encapsulate the fundamental processes governing methane emissions and carbon exchanges – as well as their coupling to the global climate system - we tested the following hypothesis in the proposed research: There exists a climate warming threshold beyond which permafrost degradation becomes widespread and stimulates large increases in methane emissions (via thermokarst lakes and poorly-drained wetland areas upon thawing permafrost along with microbial metabolic responses to higher temperatures) and increases in carbon dioxide emissions from well-drained areas. Besides changes in biogeochemistry, this threshold will also influence global energy dynamics through effects on surface albedo, evapotranspiration and water vapor. These changes would outweigh any increased uptake of carbon (e.g. from peatlands and higher plant photosynthesis) and would result in a strong, positive feedback to global climate warming. In collaboration with our Purdue and MIT colleagues, we have attempted to quantify global climate warming effects on land-atmosphere interactions, land-river network interactions, permafrost degradation, vegetation shifts, and land use influence water, carbon, and nitrogen fluxes to and from terrestrial ecosystems in the pan-arctic along with their

  5. High biolability of ancient permafrost carbon upon thaw

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vonk, Jorien E.; Mann, Paul J.; Davydov, Sergey; Davydova, Anna; Spencer, Robert G. M.; Schade, John; Sobczak, William V.; Zimov, Nikita; Zimov, Sergei; Bulygina, Ekaterina; Eglinton, Timothy I.; Holmes, Robert M.

    2013-01-01

    Ongoing climate warming in the Arctic will thaw permafrost and remobilize substantial terrestrial organic carbon (OC) pools. Around a quarter of northern permafrost OC resides in Siberian Yedoma deposits, the oldest form of permafrost carbon. However, our understanding of the degradation and fate of

  6. Permafrost degradation in West Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Foged, Niels Nielsen; Ingeman-Nielsen, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    Important aspects of civil engineering in West Greenland relate to the presence of permafrost and mapping of the annual and future changes in the active layer due to the ongoing climatically changes in the Arctic. The Arctic Technology Centre (ARTEK) has worked more than 10 years on this topic...... and the first author has been involved since 1970 in engineering geology, geotechnical engineering and permafrost related studies for foundation construction and infrastructures in towns and communities mainly in West Greenland. We have since 2006 together with the Danish Meteorological Institute, Greenland...... Survey (ASIAQ) and the University of Alaska Fairbanks carried out the US NSF funded project ARC-0612533: Recent and future permafrost variability, retreat and degradation in Greenland and Alaska: An integrated approach. This contribution will present data and observations from the towns Ilulissat...

  7. High and Increasing Shoreline Erosion Rates of Thermokarst Lakes Set in Ice-Rich Permafrost Terrain of the Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bondurant, A. C.; Arp, C. D.; Jones, B. M.; Shur, Y.; Daanen, R. P.

    2017-12-01

    Thermokarst lakes are a dominant landform shaping landscapes and impacting permafrost on the Arctic Coastal Plain (ACP) of northern Alaska, a region of continuous permafrost. Here lakes cover greater than 20% of the landscape and drained lake basins cover an additional 50 to 60% of the landscape. The formation, expansion, and drainage of thaw lakes has been described by some researchers as part of a natural cycle that has reworked the ACP landscape during the Holocene. Yet the factors and processes controlling contemporary thermokarst lake expansion remain poorly described. This study focuses on the factors controlling expansion rates of thermokarst lakes in three ACP regions that vary in landscape history, ground-ice content, and lake morphology (i.e. size and depth), as well as evaluating changes through time. Through the use of historical aerial imagery, satellite imagery, and field observations, this study identifies the controlling factors at multiple spatial and temporal scales to better understand the processes relating to thermokarst lake expansion. Studies of 35 lakes across the ACP shows regional differences in expansion rate related to permafrost ice content ranging from an average expansion rate of 0.62 m/yr where ice content is highest ( 86%) to 0.16 m/yr where ice content is lowest (45%-71%). A subset of these lakes analyzed over multiple time periods show increasing rates of erosion, with average rates being 37% higher over the period 1979-2002 (0.73 m/yr) compared to 1948-1979 (0.53 m/yr). These increased rates of erosion have important implications for the regional hydrologic cycle and localized permafrost degradation. Predicting how thermokarst lakes will behave locally and on a landscape scale is increasingly important for managing habitat and water resources and informing models of land-climate interactions in the Arctic.

  8. The role of climate change in regulating Arctic permafrost peatland hydrological and vegetation change over the last millennium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Hui; Piilo, Sanna R.; Amesbury, Matthew J.; Charman, Dan J.; Gallego-Sala, Angela V.; Väliranta, Minna M.

    2018-02-01

    Climate warming has inevitable impacts on the vegetation and hydrological dynamics of high-latitude permafrost peatlands. These impacts in turn determine the role of these peatlands in the global biogeochemical cycle. Here, we used six active layer peat cores from four permafrost peatlands in Northeast European Russia and Finnish Lapland to investigate permafrost peatland dynamics over the last millennium. Testate amoeba and plant macrofossils were used as proxies for hydrological and vegetation changes. Our results show that during the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA), Russian sites experienced short-term permafrost thawing and this induced alternating dry-wet habitat changes eventually followed by desiccation. During the Little Ice Age (LIA) both sites generally supported dry-hummock habitats, at least partly driven by permafrost aggradation. However, proxy data suggest that occasionally, MCA habitat conditions were drier than during the LIA, implying that evapotranspiration may create important additional eco-hydrological feedback mechanisms under warm conditions. All sites showed a tendency towards dry conditions as inferred from both proxies starting either from ca. 100 years ago or in the past few decades after slight permafrost thawing, suggesting that recent warming has stimulated surface desiccation rather than deeper permafrost thawing. This study shows links between two important controls over hydrology and vegetation changes in high-latitude peatlands: direct temperature-induced surface layer response and deeper permafrost layer-related dynamics. These data provide important backgrounds for predictions of Arctic permafrost peatlands and related feedback mechanisms. Our results highlight the importance of increased evapotranspiration and thus provide an additional perspective to understanding of peatland-climate feedback mechanisms.

  9. Deglacial remobilization of permafrost carbon to sediments along the East Siberian Arctic Seas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martens, J.; Wild, B.; Bröder, L.; Andersson, A.; Pearce, C.; O'Regan, M.; Jakobsson, M.; Tesi, T.; Muschitiello, F.; Sköld, M.; Semiletov, I. P.; Dudarev, O.; Gustafsson, O.

    2017-12-01

    Current climate change is expected to thaw large quantities of permafrost carbon (PF-C) and expose it to degradation which emits greenhouse gases (i.e. CO2 and CH4). Warming causes a gradual deepening of the seasonally thawed active layer surface of permafrost soils, but also the abrupt collapse of deeper Ice Complex Deposits (ICD), especially along Siberian coastlines. It was recently hypothesized that past warming already induced large-scale permafrost degradation after the last glacial, which ultimately amplified climate forcing. We here assess the mobilization of PF-C to East Siberian Arctic Sea sediments during these warming periods. We perform source apportionment using bulk carbon isotopes (ΔΔ14C, δ13C) together with terrestrial biomarkers (CuO-derived lignin phenols) as indicators for PF-C transfer. We apply these techniques to sediment cores (SWERUS-L2) from the Chukchi Sea (4-PC1) and the southern Lomonosov Ridge (31-PC1). We found that PF-C fluxes during the Bølling-Allerød warming (14.7 to 12.7 cal ka BP), the Younger Dryas cooling (12.7 to 11.7 cal ka BP) and the early Holocene warming (until 11 cal ka BP) were overall higher than mid and late Holocene fluxes. In the Chukchi Sea, PF-C burial was 2x higher during the deglaciation (7.2 g m-2 a-1) than in the mid and late Holocene (3.6 g m-2 a-1), and ICD were the dominant source of PF-C (79.1%). Smaller fractions originated from the active layer (9.1%) and marine sources (11.7%). We conclude that thermo-erosion of ICD released large amounts of PF-C to the Chukchi Sea, likely driven by climate warming and the deglacial sea level rise. This contrasts to earlier analyses of Laptev Sea sediments where active layer material from river transport dominated the carbon flux. Preliminary data on lignin phenol concentrations of Lomonosov Ridge sediments suggest that the postglacial remobilization of PF-C was one order of magnitude higher (10x) than during both the preceding glacial and the subsequent Holocene

  10. Tundra permafrost thaw causes significant shifts in energy partitioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Stiegler

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Permafrost, a key component of the arctic and global climate system, is highly sensitive to climate change. Observed and ongoing permafrost degradation influences arctic hydrology, ecology and biogeochemistry, and models predict that rapid warming is expected to significantly reduce near-surface permafrost and seasonally frozen ground during the 21st century. These changes raise concern of how permafrost thaw affects the exchange of water and energy with the atmosphere. However, associated impacts of permafrost thaw on the surface energy balance and possible feedbacks on the climate system are largely unknown. In this study, we show that in northern subarctic Sweden, permafrost thaw and related degradation of peat plateaus significantly change the surface energy balance of three peatland complexes by enhancing latent heat flux and, to less degree, also ground heat flux at the cost of sensible heat flux. This effect is valid at all radiation levels but more pronounced at higher radiation levels. The observed differences in flux partitioning mainly result from the strong coupling between soil moisture availability, vegetation composition, albedo and surface structure. Our results suggest that ongoing and predicted permafrost degradation in northern subarctic Sweden ultimately result in changes in land–atmosphere coupling due to changes in the partitioning between latent and sensible heat fluxes. This in turn has crucial implications for how predictive climate models for the Arctic are further developed.

  11. Impacts of shore expansion and catchment characteristics on lacustrine thermokarst records in permafrost lowlands, Alaska Arctic Coastal Plain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenz, Josefine; Jones, Benjamin M.; Wetterich, Sebastian; Tjallingii, Rik; Fritz, Michael; Arp, Christopher D.; Rudaya, Natalia; Grosse, Guido

    2016-01-01

    Arctic lowland landscapes have been modified by thermokarst lake processes throughout the Holocene. Thermokarst lakes form as a result of ice-rich permafrost degradation, and they may expand over time through thermal and mechanical shoreline erosion. We studied proximal and distal sedimentary records from a thermokarst lake located on the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska to reconstruct the impact of catchment dynamics and morphology on the lacustrine depositional environment and to quantify carbon accumulation in thermokarst lake sediments. Short cores were collected for analysis of pollen, sedimentological, and geochemical proxies. Radiocarbon and 210Pb/137Cs dating, as well as extrapolation of measured historic lake expansion rates, were applied to estimate a minimum lake age of ~1400 calendar years BP. The pollen record is in agreement with the young lake age as it does not include evidence of the “alder high” that occurred in the region ~4000 cal yr BP. The lake most likely initiated from a remnant pond in a drained thermokarst lake basin (DTLB) and deepened rapidly as evidenced by accumulation of laminated sediments. Increasing oxygenation of the water column as shown by higher Fe/Ti and Fe/S ratios in the sediment indicate shifts in ice regime with increasing water depth. More recently, the sediment source changed as the thermokarst lake expanded through lateral permafrost degradation, alternating from redeposited DTLB sediments, to increased amounts of sediment from eroding, older upland deposits, followed by a more balanced combination of both DTLB and upland sources. The characterizing shifts in sediment sources and depositional regimes in expanding thermokarst lakes were, therefore, archived in the thermokarst lake sedimentary record. This study also highlights the potential for Arctic lakes to recycle old carbon from thawing permafrost and thermokarst processes.

  12. Permafrost Thaw increases Emissions of Nitrous Oxide from Subarctic Peatlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voigt, C.; Marushchak, M. E.; Lamprecht, R. E.; Jackowicz-Korczynski, M.; Lindgren, A.; Mastepanov, M.; Christensen, T. R.; Granlund, L.; Tahvanainen, T.; Martikainen, P. J.; Biasi, C.

    2017-12-01

    Permafrost soils in the Arctic are thawing, exposing not only carbon but also large nitrogen stocks. The decomposition of this vast pool of long-term immobile C and N stocks results in the release of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Among these, carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) are being studied extensively, and gaseous C release from thawing permafrost is known to be substantial. Most recent studies, however, show that Arctic soils may further be a relevant source of the strong greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O). As N2O is almost 300 times more powerful in warming the climate than CO2 based on a 100-yr time horizon, the release of N2O from thawing permafrost could create a significant non-carbon permafrost-climate feedback. To study the effect of permafrost thaw on N2O fluxes, we collected peat mesocosms from a Subarctic permafrost peatland, and subjected these intact soil-plant systems to sequential thawing from the top of the active layer down to the upper permafrost layer. Measurements of N2O fluxes were coupled with detailed soil analyses and process studies. Since N2O fluxes are highly dependent on moisture conditions and vegetation cover, we applied two distinct moisture treatments (dry vs. wet) and simulated permafrost thaw in vegetated as well as in naturally bare mesocosms. Under dry conditions, permafrost thaw clearly increased N2O emissions. We observed the largest post-thaw emissions from bare peat surfaces, a typical landform in subarctic peatlands previously identified as hot spots for Arctic N2O emissions. There, permafrost thaw caused a five-fold increase in emissions (0.56 vs. 2.81 mg N2O m-2 d-1). While water-logged conditions suppressed N2O emissions, the presence of vegetation lowered, but did not prevent post-thaw N2O release. Based on these findings, we show that one fourth of the Arctic land area could be vulnerable for N2O emissions when permafrost thaws. Our results demonstrate that Arctic N2O emissions may be larger than

  13. Complete and Partial Photo-oxidation of Dissolved Organic Matter Draining Permafrost Soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Collin P; Cory, Rose M

    2016-04-05

    Photochemical degradation of dissolved organic matter (DOM) to carbon dioxide (CO2) and partially oxidized compounds is an important component of the carbon cycle in the Arctic. Thawing permafrost soils will change the chemical composition of DOM exported to arctic surface waters, but the molecular controls on DOM photodegradation remain poorly understood, making it difficult to predict how inputs of thawing permafrost DOM may alter its photodegradation. To address this knowledge gap, we quantified the susceptibility of DOM draining the shallow organic mat and the deeper permafrost layer of arctic soils to complete and partial photo-oxidation and investigated changes in the chemical composition of each DOM source following sunlight exposure. Permafrost and organic mat DOM had similar lability to photomineralization despite substantial differences in initial chemical composition. Concurrent losses of carboxyl moieties and shifts in chemical composition during photodegradation indicated that photodecarboxylation could account for 40-90% of DOM photomineralized to CO2. Permafrost DOM had a higher susceptibility to partial photo-oxidation compared to organic mat DOM, potentially due to a lower abundance of phenolic moieties with antioxidant properties. These results suggest that photodegradation will likely continue to be an important control on DOM fate in arctic freshwaters as the climate warms and permafrost soils thaw.

  14. Viable Species of Flamella (Amoebozoa: Variosea) Isolated from Ancient Arctic Permafrost Sediments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shmakova, Lyubov; Bondarenko, Natalya; Smirnov, Alexey

    2016-02-01

    Six viable strains of amoebae belonging to the genus Flamella (Amoebozoa, Variosea) were isolated from permafrost sediments sampled in the Russian Arctic region. Two of them are from late Pleistocene permafrost in North-East Siberia, and four--from Holocene and late Pleistocene in North-West Siberia. Light- and electron-microscopic study and molecular phylogeny show that these isolates represent two new species belonging to the genus Flamella. Both species are cyst-forming. This is a remarkable case of high resistance of protozoan cysts, allowing them to survive and recover an amoebae population after a very long, geologically significant period of rest; a "snapshot" of evolution in time. This study directly shows for the first time that amoeba cysts can be conserved not only for years and decades but for many thousand years and then recover, contributing to the formation of an active microbial community. We propose to name the new species as Flamella pleistocenica n.sp. and Flamella beringiania n.sp. Phylogenetic analysis shows that the genus Flamella is a robust and potentially species-rich group of Variosea. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  15. Simulation of long-term influence from technical systems on permafrost with various short-scale and hourly operation modes in Arctic region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaganova, N. A.

    2017-12-01

    Technogenic and climatic influences have a significant impact on the degradation of permafrost. Long-term forecasts of such changes during long-time periods have to be taken into account in the oil and gas and construction industries in view to development the Arctic and Subarctic regions. There are considered constantly operating technical systems (for example, oil and gas wells) that affect changes in permafrost, as well as the technical systems that have a short-term impact on permafrost (for example, flare systems for emergency flaring of associated gas). The second type of technical systems is rather complex for simulation, since it is required to reserve both short and long-scales in computations with variable time steps describing the complex technological processes. The main attention is paid to the simulation of long-term influence on the permafrost from the second type of the technical systems.

  16. Assessment of three mitigation techniques for permafrost protection

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Anders Stuhr

    The presence of permafrost is an important aspect in civil engineering in arctic regions. The construction of engineering structures, such as road and airfield embankments, will change the thermal regime of the ground, and may lead to permafrost degradation under or adjacent to such structures....... This problem, has in the last decades, been amplified by the climate warming, which has been most evident in the arctic regions. The construction of a road embankment usually results in an increased mean annual surface temperature, which will increase the thawing of permafrost and expose the road embankment...... objective has been to study the three above-mentioned techniques and evaluate their potential for minimizing the problems with thaw settlements in permafrost areas. The air convection embankment and heat drain techniques have been tested for the implementation in the shoulders of road and airfield...

  17. The Arctic Vegetation Type Change retrieved from Spaceborne Observations and its Influence on the Simulation of Permafrost Thawing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Y.; Wang, Z.

    2017-12-01

    The vegetation types change in Arctic has been studied using 10 years of MODIS land cover product (MCD12Q1). The shrub expansion is observed in Alaska and Northeast Asia, while shrub fraction decreases in North Canada and Southwest Arctic Eurasia. The total Arctic shrub fraction increases 3% in 10 years. The tundra decreases where the shrub expands, and thrives where the shrub retreats. In order to isolate the influence of the vegetation dynamic on the permafrost thawing, the Arctic terrestrial ecosystem in recent decades will be simulated using the Community Land Model (CLM) with and without the vegetation type changes. The energy and carbon exchange on the land surface will also be simulated and compared. Acknowledgement: This work was supported by the Korea Polar Research Institute (KOPRI, PN17081) and the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (2015R1C1A2A01054800).

  18. Examining Environmental Gradients with satellite data in permafrost regions - the current state of the ESA GlobPermafrost initative

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grosse, G.; Bartsch, A.; Kääb, A.; Westermann, S.; Strozzi, T.; Wiesmann, A.; Duguay, C. R.; Seifert, F. M.; Obu, J.; Nitze, I.; Heim, B.; Haas, A.; Widhalm, B.

    2017-12-01

    Permafrost cannot be directly detected from space, but many surface features of permafrost terrains and typical periglacial landforms are observable with a variety of EO sensors ranging from very high to medium resolution at various wavelengths. In addition, landscape dynamics associated with permafrost changes and geophysical variables relevant for characterizing the state of permafrost, such as land surface temperature or freeze-thaw state can be observed with spaceborne Earth Observation. Suitable regions to examine environmental gradients across the Arctic have been defined in a community white paper (Bartsch et al. 2014, hdl:10013/epic.45648.d001). These transects have been revised and adjusted within the DUE GlobPermafrost initiative of the European Space Agency. The ESA DUE GlobPermafrost project develops, validates and implements Earth Observation (EO) products to support research communities and international organisations in their work on better understanding permafrost characteristics and dynamics. Prototype product cases will cover different aspects of permafrost by integrating in situ measurements of subsurface and surface properties, Earth Observation, and modelling to provide a better understanding of permafrost today. The project will extend local process and permafrost monitoring to broader spatial domains, support permafrost distribution modelling, and help to implement permafrost landscape and feature mapping in a GIS framework. It will also complement active layer and thermal observing networks. Both lowland (latitudinal) and mountain (altitudinal) permafrost issues are addressed. The status of the Permafrost Information System and first results will be presented. Prototypes of GlobPermafrost datasets include: Modelled mean annual ground temperature by use of land surface temperature and snow water equivalent from satellites Land surface characterization including shrub height, land cover and parameters related to surface roughness Trends from

  19. Influences of Moisture Regimes and Functional Plant Types on Nutrient Cycling in Permafrost Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCaully, R. E.; Arendt, C. A.; Newman, B. D.; Heikoop, J. M.; Wilson, C. J.; Sevanto, S.; Wales, N. A.; Wullschleger, S.

    2017-12-01

    In the permafrost-dominated Arctic, climatic feedbacks exist between permafrost, soil moisture, functional plant type and presence of nutrients. Functional plant types present within the Arctic regulate and respond to changes in hydrologic regimes and nutrient cycling. Specifically, alders are a member of the birch family that use root nodules to fix nitrogen, which is a limiting nutrient strongly linked to fertilizing Arctic ecosystems. Previous investigations in the Seward Peninsula, AK show elevated presence of nitrate within and downslope of alder patches in degraded permafrost systems, with concentrations an order of magnitude greater than that of nitrate measured above these patches. Further observations within these degraded permafrost systems are crucial to assess whether alders are drivers of, or merely respond to, nitrate fluxes. In addition to vegetative feedbacks with nitrate supply, previous studies have also linked low moisture content to high nitrate production. Within discontinuous permafrost regions, the absence of permafrost creates well-drained regions with unsaturated soils whereas the presence of permafrost limits vertical drainage of soil-pore water creating elevated soil moisture content, which likely corresponds to lower nitrate concentrations. We investigate these feedbacks further in the Seward Peninsula, AK, through research supported by the United States Department of Energy Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment (NGEE) - Arctic. Using soil moisture and thaw depth as proxies to determine the extent of permafrost degradation, we identify areas of discontinuous permafrost over a heterogeneous landscape and collect co-located soilwater chemistry samples to highlight the complex relationships that exist between alder patches, soil moisture regimes, the presence of permafrost and available nitrate supply. Understanding the role of nitrogen in degrading permafrost systems, in the context of both vegetation present and soil moisture, is crucial

  20. Permafrost response to increasing Arctic shrub abundance depends on the relative influence of shrubs on local soil cooling versus large-scale climate warming

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lawrence, David M; Swenson, Sean C

    2011-01-01

    Deciduous shrub abundance is increasing across the Arctic in response to climatic warming. In a recent field manipulation experiment in which shrubs were removed from a plot and compared to a control plot with shrubs, Blok et al (2010 Glob. Change Biol. 16 1296–305) found that shrubs protect the ground through shading, resulting in a ∼ 9% shallower active layer thickness (ALT) under shrubs compared to grassy-tundra, which led them to argue that continued Arctic shrub expansion could mitigate future permafrost thaw. We utilize the Community Land Model (CLM4) coupled to the Community Atmosphere Model (CAM4) to evaluate this hypothesis. CLM4 simulates shallower ALT (∼− 11 cm) under shrubs, consistent with the field manipulation study. However, in an idealized pan-Arctic + 20% shrub area experiment, atmospheric heating, driven mainly by surface albedo changes related to protrusion of shrub stems above the spring snowpack, leads to soil warming and deeper ALT (∼+ 10 cm). Therefore, if climate feedbacks are considered, shrub expansion may actually increase rather than decrease permafrost vulnerability. When we account for blowing-snow redistribution from grassy-tundra to shrubs, shifts in snowpack distribution in low versus high shrub area simulations counter the climate warming impact, resulting in a grid cell mean ALT that is unchanged. These results reinforce the need to consider vegetation dynamics and blowing-snow processes in the permafrost thaw model projections.

  1. Methane Ebullition During Simulated Lake Expansion and Permafrost Degradation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazéas, O.; von Fischer, J. C.; Whelan, M.; Rhew, R.

    2007-12-01

    Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, is emitted by Arctic tundra and lakes. Ebullition, or bubbling, of methane from Arctic lakes has been shown to be a major transport mechanism from the sediment to the atmosphere, and ebullition rates are greatest near the edges of the lakes where active erosion is occurring. In regions of continuous permafrost, Arctic lakes have been expanding in recent decades, attributed to permafrost melting and development of thermokarst. Lake expansion occurs when the margins erode into water, supplying large amounts of organic rich material to the sediment-water interface. This allows carbon that was previously stored in the soil (active layer and permafrost) to become bioavailable and subject to decomposition. An increase in Arctic methane emissions as a result of permafrost thawing and lake expansion would constitute a positive feedback to Arctic warming. In order to better understand these processes, an experiment was initiated in July 2007 at the Barrow Environmental Observatory, Barrow, AK. Different layers of locally collected tundra soil were placed into incubation chambers at the bottom of a shallow (about 1 m deep) lake. Each experimental chamber consists of a bucket fixed underneath an inverted funnel, with a sampling port on top to capture and collect the emitted gases. Gas samples are analyzed for methane and carbon dioxide concentrations, as well as relevant isotopic compositions. Gas sampling has occurred at frequent intervals during the late summer and will continue through the early winter. Three replicates of each layer (active layer, seasonally frozen active layer and permafrost) were incubated, as well as an empty control chamber. An additional chamber containing thawed permafrost and cellulose-rich sawdust was placed for comparison, as cellulose is a major component of plant tissue and the fermentation of the cellulose should yield substrates for methanogenesis. Total production of methane versus organic carbon content of

  2. High bacterial diversity of biological soil crusts in water tracks over permafrost in the high arctic polar desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steven, Blaire; Lionard, Marie; Kuske, Cheryl R; Vincent, Warwick F

    2013-01-01

    In this study we report the bacterial diversity of biological soil crusts (biocrusts) inhabiting polar desert soils at the northern land limit of the Arctic polar region (83° 05 N). Employing pyrosequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes this study demonstrated that these biocrusts harbor diverse bacterial communities, often as diverse as temperate latitude communities. The effect of wetting pulses on the composition of communities was also determined by collecting samples from soils outside and inside of permafrost water tracks, hill slope flow paths that drain permafrost-affected soils. The intermittent flow regime in the water tracks was correlated with altered relative abundance of phylum level taxonomic bins in the bacterial communities, but the alterations varied between individual sampling sites. Bacteria related to the Cyanobacteria and Acidobacteria demonstrated shifts in relative abundance based on their location either inside or outside of the water tracks. Among cyanobacterial sequences, the proportion of sequences belonging to the family Oscillatoriales consistently increased in relative abundance in the samples from inside the water tracks compared to those outside. Acidobacteria showed responses to wetting pulses in the water tracks, increasing in abundance at one site and decreasing at the other two sites. Subdivision 4 acidobacterial sequences tended to follow the trends in the total Acidobacteria relative abundance, suggesting these organisms were largely responsible for the changes observed in the Acidobacteria. Taken together, these data suggest that the bacterial communities of these high latitude polar biocrusts are diverse but do not show a consensus response to intermittent flow in water tracks over high Arctic permafrost.

  3. Impacts of Permafrost on Infrastructure and Ecosystem Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trochim, E.; Schuur, E.; Schaedel, C.; Kelly, B. P.

    2017-12-01

    The Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH) program developed knowledge pyramids as a tool for advancing scientific understanding and making this information accessible for decision makers. Knowledge pyramids are being used to synthesize, curate and disseminate knowledge of changing land ice, sea ice, and permafrost in the Arctic. Each pyramid consists of a one-two page summary brief in broadly accessible language and literature organized by levels of detail including synthesizes and scientific building blocks. Three knowledge pyramids have been produced related to permafrost on carbon, infrastructure, and ecosystem services. Each brief answers key questions with high societal relevance framed in policy-relevant terms. The knowledge pyramids concerning infrastructure and ecosystem services were developed in collaboration with researchers specializing in the specific topic areas in order to identify the most pertinent issues and accurately communicate information for integration into policy and planning. For infrastructure, the main issue was the need to build consensus in the engineering and science communities for developing improved methods for incorporating data applicable to building infrastructure on permafrost. In ecosystem services, permafrost provides critical landscape properties which affect basic human needs including fuel and drinking water availability, access to hunting and harvest, and fish and wildlife habitat. Translating these broad and complex topics necessitated a systematic and iterative approach to identifying key issues and relating them succinctly to the best state of the art research. The development of the knowledge pyramids provoked collaboration and synthesis across distinct research and engineering communities. The knowledge pyramids also provide a solid basis for policy development and the format allows the content to be regularly updated as the research community advances.

  4. Numerical investigations of the fluid flows at deep oceanic and arctic permafrost-associated gas hydrate deposits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frederick, Jennifer Mary

    older than the host sediment. Old pore fluid age may reflect complex flow patterns, such a fluid focusing, which can cause significant lateral migration as well as regions where downward flow reverses direction and returns toward the seafloor. Longer pathlines can produce pore fluid ages much older than that expected with a one-dimensional compaction model. For steady-state models with geometry representative of Blake Ridge (USA), a well-studied hydrate province, pore fluid ages beneath regions of topography and within fractured zones can be up to 70 Ma old. Results suggest that the measurements of 129-I/127-I reflect a mixture of new and old pore fluid. However, old pore fluid need not originate at great depths. Methane within pore fluids can travel laterally several kilometers, implying an extensive source region around the deposit. Iodine age measurements support the existence of fluid focusing beneath regions of seafloor topography at Blake Ridge, and suggest that the methane source at Blake Ridge is likely shallow. The response of methane hydrate reservoirs to warming is poorly understood. The great depths may protect deep oceanic hydrates from climate change for the time being because transfer of heat by conduction is slow, but warming will eventually be felt albeit in the far future. On the other hand, unique permafrost-associated methane hydrate deposits exist at shallow depths within the sediments of the circum-Arctic continental shelves. Arctic hydrates are thought to be a relict of cold glacial periods, aggrading when sea levels are much lower and shelf sediments are exposed to freezing air temperatures. During interglacial periods, rising sea levels flood the shelf, bringing dramatic warming to the permafrost- and hydrate-bearing sediments. Permafrost-associated methane hydrate deposits have been responding to warming since the last glacial maximum ~18 kaBP as a consequence of these natural glacial cycles. This `experiment,' set into motion by nature itself

  5. Web-GIS visualisation of permafrost-related Remote Sensing products for ESA GlobPermafrost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haas, A.; Heim, B.; Schaefer-Neth, C.; Laboor, S.; Nitze, I.; Grosse, G.; Bartsch, A.; Kaab, A.; Strozzi, T.; Wiesmann, A.; Seifert, F. M.

    2016-12-01

    The ESA GlobPermafrost (www.globpermafrost.info) provides a remote sensing service for permafrost research and applications. The service comprises of data product generation for various sites and regions as well as specific infrastructure allowing overview and access to datasets. Based on an online user survey conducted within the project, the user community extensively applies GIS software to handle remote sensing-derived datasets and requires preview functionalities before accessing them. In response, we develop the Permafrost Information System PerSys which is conceptualized as an open access geospatial data dissemination and visualization portal. PerSys will allow visualisation of GlobPermafrost raster and vector products such as land cover classifications, Landsat multispectral index trend datasets, lake and wetland extents, InSAR-based land surface deformation maps, rock glacier velocity fields, spatially distributed permafrost model outputs, and land surface temperature datasets. The datasets will be published as WebGIS services relying on OGC-standardized Web Mapping Service (WMS) and Web Feature Service (WFS) technologies for data display and visualization. The WebGIS environment will be hosted at the AWI computing centre where a geodata infrastructure has been implemented comprising of ArcGIS for Server 10.4, PostgreSQL 9.2 and a browser-driven data viewer based on Leaflet (http://leafletjs.com). Independently, we will provide an `Access - Restricted Data Dissemination Service', which will be available to registered users for testing frequently updated versions of project datasets. PerSys will become a core project of the Arctic Permafrost Geospatial Centre (APGC) within the ERC-funded PETA-CARB project (www.awi.de/petacarb). The APGC Data Catalogue will contain all final products of GlobPermafrost, allow in-depth dataset search via keywords, spatial and temporal coverage, data type, etc., and will provide DOI-based links to the datasets archived in the

  6. DOE Final Report on Collaborative Research. Quantifying Climate Feedbacks of the Terrestrial Biosphere under Thawing Permafrost Conditions in the Arctic

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhuang, Qianlai [Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States); Schlosser, C. Adam [Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States); Melillo, Jerry M. [Marine Biological Lab. (MBL), Woods Hole, MA (United States); Anthony, Katey Walter [Univ. of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK (United States); Kicklighter, David [Marine Biological Lab. (MBL), Woods Hole, MA (United States); Gao, Xiang [Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States)

    2015-11-03

    Our overall goal is to quantify the potential for threshold changes in natural emission rates of trace gases, particularly methane and carbon dioxide, from pan-arctic terrestrial systems under the spectrum of anthropogenically-forced climate warming, and the conditions under which these emissions provide a strong feedback mechanism to global climate warming. This goal is motivated under the premise that polar amplification of global climate warming will induce widespread thaw and degradation of the permafrost, and would thus cause substantial changes to the landscape of wetlands and lakes, especially thermokarst (thaw) lakes, across the Arctic. Through a suite of numerical experiments that encapsulate the fundamental processes governing methane emissions and carbon exchanges – as well as their coupling to the global climate system - we intend to test the following hypothesis in the proposed research: There exists a climate warming threshold beyond which permafrost degradation becomes widespread and stimulates large increases in methane emissions (via thermokarst lakes and poorly-drained wetland areas upon thawing permafrost along with microbial metabolic responses to higher temperatures) and increases in carbon dioxide emissions from well-drained areas. Besides changes in biogeochemistry, this threshold will also influence global energy dynamics through effects on surface albedo, evapotranspiration and water vapor. These changes would outweigh any increased uptake of carbon (e.g. from peatlands and higher plant photosynthesis) and would result in a strong, positive feedback to global climate warming.

  7. Climate change and the permafrost carbon feedback.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuur, E A G; McGuire, A D; Schädel, C; Grosse, G; Harden, J W; Hayes, D J; Hugelius, G; Koven, C D; Kuhry, P; Lawrence, D M; Natali, S M; Olefeldt, D; Romanovsky, V E; Schaefer, K; Turetsky, M R; Treat, C C; Vonk, J E

    2015-04-09

    Large quantities of organic carbon are stored in frozen soils (permafrost) within Arctic and sub-Arctic regions. A warming climate can induce environmental changes that accelerate the microbial breakdown of organic carbon and the release of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane. This feedback can accelerate climate change, but the magnitude and timing of greenhouse gas emission from these regions and their impact on climate change remain uncertain. Here we find that current evidence suggests a gradual and prolonged release of greenhouse gas emissions in a warming climate and present a research strategy with which to target poorly understood aspects of permafrost carbon dynamics.

  8. Abundant pre-industrial carbon detected in Canadian Arctic headwaters: implications for the permafrost carbon feedback

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean, J. F.; van der Velde, Y.; Garnett, M. H.; Dinsmore, K. J.; Baxter, R.; Lessels, J. S.; Smith, P.; Street, L. E.; Subke, J.-A.; Tetzlaff, D.; Washbourne, I.; Wookey, P. A.; Billett, M. F.

    2018-03-01

    Mobilization of soil/sediment organic carbon into inland waters constitutes a substantial, but poorly-constrained, component of the global carbon cycle. Radiocarbon (14C) analysis has proven a valuable tool in tracing the sources and fate of mobilized carbon, but aquatic 14C studies in permafrost regions rarely detect ‘old’ carbon (assimilated from the atmosphere into plants and soil prior to AD1950). The emission of greenhouse gases derived from old carbon by aquatic systems may indicate that carbon sequestered prior to AD1950 is being destabilized, thus contributing to the ‘permafrost carbon feedback’ (PCF). Here, we measure directly the 14C content of aquatic CO2, alongside dissolved organic carbon, in headwater systems of the western Canadian Arctic—the first such concurrent measurements in the Arctic. Age distribution analysis indicates that the age of mobilized aquatic carbon increased significantly during the 2014 snow-free season as the active layer deepened. This increase in age was more pronounced in DOC, rising from 101-228 years before sampling date (a 120%-125% increase) compared to CO2, which rose from 92-151 years before sampling date (a 59%-63% increase). ‘Pre-industrial’ aged carbon (assimilated prior to ~AD1750) comprised 15%-40% of the total aquatic carbon fluxes, demonstrating the prevalence of old carbon to Arctic headwaters. Although the presence of this old carbon is not necessarily indicative of a net positive PCF, we provide an approach and baseline data which can be used for future assessment of the PCF.

  9. Ice-Wedge Polygon Formation Impacts Permafrost Carbon Storage and Vulnerability to Top-Down Thaw in Arctic Coastal Plain Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jastrow, J. D.; Matamala, R.; Ping, C. L.; Vugteveen, T. W.; Lederhouse, J. S.; Michaelson, G. J.; Mishra, U.

    2017-12-01

    Ice-wedge polygons are ubiquitous, patterned ground features throughout Arctic coastal plains and river deltas. The progressive expansion of ice wedges influences polygon development and strongly affects cryoturbation and soil formation. Thus, we hypothesized that polygon type impacts the distribution and composition of soil organic carbon (C) stocks across the landscape and that such information can improve estimates of permafrost C stocks vulnerable to active layer thickening and increased decomposition due to climatic change. We quantified the distribution of soil C across entire polygon profiles (2-m depth) for three developmental types - flat-centered (FCP), low-centered (LCP), and high-centered (HCP) polygons (3 replicates of each) - formed on glaciomarine sediments within and near the Barrow Environmental Observatory at the northern tip of Alaska. Active layer thickness averaged 45 cm and did not vary among polygon types. Similarly, active layer C stocks were unaffected by polygon type, but permafrost C stocks increased from FCPs to LCPs to HCPs despite greater ice volumes in HCPs. These differences were due to a greater presence of organic horizons in the upper permafrost of LCPs and, especially, HCPs. On average, C stocks in polygon interiors were double those of troughs, on a square meter basis. However, HCPs were physically smaller than LCPs and FCPs, which affected estimates of C stocks at the landscape scale. Accounting for the number of polygons per unit area and the proportional distribution of troughs versus interiors, we estimated permafrost C stocks (2-m depth) increased from 259 Mg C ha-1 in FCPs to 366 Mg C ha-1 in HCPs. Active layer C stocks did not differ among polygon types and averaged 328 Mg C ha-1. We used our detailed polygon profiles to investigate the impact of active layer deepening as projected by Earth system models under future climate scenarios. Because HCPs have a greater proportion of upper permafrost C stocks in organic horizons

  10. Historical and contemporary imagery to assess ecosystem change on the Arctic coastal plain of northern Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tape, Ken D.; Pearce, John M.; Walworth, Dennis; Meixell, Brandt W.; Fondell, Tom F.; Gustine, David D.; Flint, Paul L.; Hupp, Jerry W.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Ward, David H.

    2014-01-01

    The Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska is a complex landscape of lakes, streams, and wetlands scattered across low-relief tundra that is underlain by permafrost. This region of the Arctic has experienced a warming trend over the past three decades leading to thawing of on-shore permafrost and the disappearance of sea ice at unprecedented rates. The U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Changing Arctic Ecosystems (CAE) research initiative was developed to investigate and forecast these rapid changes in the physical environment of the Arctic, and the associated changes to wildlife populations, in order to inform key management decisions by the U.S. Department of the Interior and other agencies. Forecasting future wildlife responses to changes in the Arctic can benefit greatly from historical records that inform what changes have already occurred. Several Arctic wildlife and plant species have already responded to climatic and physical changes to the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska. Thus, we located historical aerial imagery to improve our understanding of recent habitat changes and the associated response to such changes by wildlife populations.

  11. High-resolution digital mapping of soil organic carbon in permafrost terrain using machine learning: a case study in a sub-Arctic peatland environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siewert, Matthias B.

    2018-03-01

    Soil organic carbon (SOC) stored in northern peatlands and permafrost-affected soils are key components in the global carbon cycle. This article quantifies SOC stocks in a sub-Arctic mountainous peatland environment in the discontinuous permafrost zone in Abisko, northern Sweden. Four machine-learning techniques are evaluated for SOC quantification: multiple linear regression, artificial neural networks, support vector machine and random forest. The random forest model performed best and was used to predict SOC for several depth increments at a spatial resolution of 1 m (1×1 m). A high-resolution (1 m) land cover classification generated for this study is the most relevant predictive variable. The landscape mean SOC storage (0-150 cm) is estimated to be 8.3 ± 8.0 kg C m-2 and the SOC stored in the top meter (0-100 cm) to be 7.7 ± 6.2 kg C m-2. The predictive modeling highlights the relative importance of wetland areas and in particular peat plateaus for the landscape's SOC storage. The total SOC was also predicted at reduced spatial resolutions of 2, 10, 30, 100, 250 and 1000 m and shows a significant drop in land cover class detail and a tendency to underestimate the SOC at resolutions > 30 m. This is associated with the occurrence of many small-scale wetlands forming local hot-spots of SOC storage that are omitted at coarse resolutions. Sharp transitions in SOC storage associated with land cover and permafrost distribution are the most challenging methodological aspect. However, in this study, at local, regional and circum-Arctic scales, the main factor limiting robust SOC mapping efforts is the scarcity of soil pedon data from across the entire environmental space. For the Abisko region, past SOC and permafrost dynamics indicate that most of the SOC is barely 2000 years old and very dynamic. Future research needs to investigate the geomorphic response of permafrost degradation and the fate of SOC across all landscape compartments in post-permafrost landscapes.

  12. Permafrost-associated gas hydrate: is it really approximately 1% of the global system?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruppel, Carolyn

    2015-01-01

    Permafrost-associated gas hydrates are often assumed to contain ∼1 % of the global gas-in-place in gas hydrates based on a study26 published over three decades ago. As knowledge of permafrost-associated gas hydrates has grown, it has become clear that many permafrost-associated gas hydrates are inextricably linked to an associated conventional petroleum system, and that their formation history (trapping of migrated gas in situ during Pleistocene cooling) is consistent with having been sourced at least partially in nearby thermogenic gas deposits. Using modern data sets that constrain the distribution of continuous permafrost onshore5 and subsea permafrost on circum-Arctic Ocean continental shelves offshore and that estimate undiscovered conventional gas within arctic assessment units,16 the done here reveals where permafrost-associated gas hydrates are most likely to occur, concluding that Arctic Alaska and the West Siberian Basin are the best prospects. A conservative estimate is that 20 Gt C (2.7·1013 kg CH4) may be sequestered in permafrost-associated gas hydrates if methane were the only hydrate-former. This value is slightly more than 1 % of modern estimates (corresponding to 1600 Gt C to 1800 Gt C2,22) for global gas-in-place in methane hydrates and about double the absolute estimate (11.2 Gt C) made in 1981.26

  13. Interactions between iron and organic matter may influence the fate of permafrost carbon in the Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cory, R. M.; Trusiak, A.; Ward, C.; Kling, G. W.; Tfaily, M.; Paša-Tolić, L.; Noel, V.; Bargar, J.

    2017-12-01

    The ongoing thawing of permafrost soils is the only environmental change that allows tremendous stores of organic carbon (C) to be converted into carbon dioxide (CO2) on decadal time scales, thus providing a positive and accelerating feedback to global warming. Evidence suggests that iron enhances abiotic reactions that convert dissolved organic matter (DOM) to CO2 in dark soils and in sunlit surface waters depending on its redox state and association with DOM (i.e., iron-DOM complexation). However, the complexation of iron in surface waters and soils remains too poorly understood to predict how iron influences the rates of oxidation of DOM to CO2. To address this knowledge gap, we characterized iron-DOM complexation in iron-rich soil and surface waters of the Arctic, in combination with measurements of DOM oxidation to CO2. These waters contain high concentrations of dissolved iron and DOM (up to 1 and 2 mM, respectively), and low concentrations of other potential ligands for iron such as sulfide, carbonate, chloride, or bromide. Ultra-high resolution mass spectrometry (FT-ICR MS) was used to identify ligands for iron within the DOM pool, and synchrotron based X-ray analysis (XAS and EXAFS) was used to assess iron's oxidation state, to detect iron complexation, and to constrain the chemical composition of the complexes. Across a natural gradient of dissolved iron and DOM concentrations, many potential ligands were identified within DOM that are expected to complex with iron (e.g., aromatic acids). EXAFS showed substantial complexation of reduced ferrous iron (Fe(II)) to DOM in arctic soil waters, on the basis of comparison to Fe(II)-DOM reference spectra. Identification of iron complexed to DOM in soil waters is consistent with strongly co-varying iron and DOM concentrations in arctic soil and surface waters, and supports our hypothesis that complexation of iron by DOM influences dark and light redox reactions that oxidize DOM to CO2. Understanding the molecular

  14. Evaluating the performance of coupled snow-soil models in SURFEXv8 to simulate the permafrost thermal regime at a high Arctic site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrere, Mathieu; Domine, Florent; Decharme, Bertrand; Morin, Samuel; Vionnet, Vincent; Lafaysse, Matthieu

    2017-09-01

    Climate change projections still suffer from a limited representation of the permafrost-carbon feedback. Predicting the response of permafrost temperature to climate change requires accurate simulations of Arctic snow and soil properties. This study assesses the capacity of the coupled land surface and snow models ISBA-Crocus and ISBA-ES to simulate snow and soil properties at Bylot Island, a high Arctic site. Field measurements complemented with ERA-Interim reanalyses were used to drive the models and to evaluate simulation outputs. Snow height, density, temperature, thermal conductivity and thermal insulance are examined to determine the critical variables involved in the soil and snow thermal regime. Simulated soil properties are compared to measurements of thermal conductivity, temperature and water content. The simulated snow density profiles are unrealistic, which is most likely caused by the lack of representation in snow models of the upward water vapor fluxes generated by the strong temperature gradients within the snowpack. The resulting vertical profiles of thermal conductivity are inverted compared to observations, with high simulated values at the bottom of the snowpack. Still, ISBA-Crocus manages to successfully simulate the soil temperature in winter. Results are satisfactory in summer, but the temperature of the top soil could be better reproduced by adequately representing surface organic layers, i.e., mosses and litter, and in particular their water retention capacity. Transition periods (soil freezing and thawing) are the least well reproduced because the high basal snow thermal conductivity induces an excessively rapid heat transfer between the soil and the snow in simulations. Hence, global climate models should carefully consider Arctic snow thermal properties, and especially the thermal conductivity of the basal snow layer, to perform accurate predictions of the permafrost evolution under climate change.

  15. Permafrost and urban Development in Norilsk Russia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiklomanov, N. I.; Streletskiy, D. A.; Grebenets, V. I.

    2017-12-01

    The city of Norilsk was established in 1935 as a GULAG mining and metallurgy work camp to explore the rich deposits of non-ferrous metals. By the 1989, the population of Norilsk reached 179,757 people. Two additional cities were developed in proximity to Norilsk in the 1960s-1980s: Talnakh (1989 population 65,710); and Kaerkan (1989 population 29,824) making the Norilsk region a major Arctic metropolis. While such rapid growth is not unusual for developing industrial cities, the geographic location makes Norilsk rather unique among world urban centers. It was built in Central Siberia at 69°51' N latitude (above the Arctic Circle), in region characterized by harsh subarctic climate (mean annual temperature around -10 oC), over forest tundra/tundra transitional landscapes underlined by perennially frozen ground (permafrost). Throughout its existence, the Norilsk region was highly isolated: it is not connected to Russian road and railroad systems. The harsh environmental conditions provided significant and rather unique challenges to Norilsk development. Specifically, the presence of ice-rich permafrost imposed restrictions on application of standard urban planning and engineering practices. This presentation analyzes the history of permafrost construction in Norilsk. It shows how though initial trial and errors, a set of guiding principles and engineering methods of construction on permafrost were developed allowing a rapid urbanization of the area during the 1960-1980s. However, despite significant advances in permafrost engineering, the pronounced permafrost degradation has become evident in Norilsk by the mid 1980s and has accelerated rapidly since the mid 1990s resulting in widespread deformation of buildings. Climatic changes are frequently identified as a major cause of accelerated deterioration of infrastructure build on permafrost. However, we argue that other factors, including the complexity of interactions between deferent components of urban

  16. High-resolution digital mapping of soil organic carbon in permafrost terrain using machine learning: a case study in a sub-Arctic peatland environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. B. Siewert

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Soil organic carbon (SOC stored in northern peatlands and permafrost-affected soils are key components in the global carbon cycle. This article quantifies SOC stocks in a sub-Arctic mountainous peatland environment in the discontinuous permafrost zone in Abisko, northern Sweden. Four machine-learning techniques are evaluated for SOC quantification: multiple linear regression, artificial neural networks, support vector machine and random forest. The random forest model performed best and was used to predict SOC for several depth increments at a spatial resolution of 1 m (1×1 m. A high-resolution (1 m land cover classification generated for this study is the most relevant predictive variable. The landscape mean SOC storage (0–150 cm is estimated to be 8.3 ± 8.0 kg C m−2 and the SOC stored in the top meter (0–100 cm to be 7.7 ± 6.2 kg C m−2. The predictive modeling highlights the relative importance of wetland areas and in particular peat plateaus for the landscape's SOC storage. The total SOC was also predicted at reduced spatial resolutions of 2, 10, 30, 100, 250 and 1000 m and shows a significant drop in land cover class detail and a tendency to underestimate the SOC at resolutions  >  30 m. This is associated with the occurrence of many small-scale wetlands forming local hot-spots of SOC storage that are omitted at coarse resolutions. Sharp transitions in SOC storage associated with land cover and permafrost distribution are the most challenging methodological aspect. However, in this study, at local, regional and circum-Arctic scales, the main factor limiting robust SOC mapping efforts is the scarcity of soil pedon data from across the entire environmental space. For the Abisko region, past SOC and permafrost dynamics indicate that most of the SOC is barely 2000 years old and very dynamic. Future research needs to investigate the geomorphic response of permafrost degradation and the fate of

  17. Biodegradability of dissolved organic carbon in permafrost soils and waterways: a meta-analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vonk, J. E.; Tank, S. E.; Mann, P. J.; Spencer, R. G. M.; Treat, C. C.; Striegl, R. G.; Abbott, B. W.; Wickland, K. P.

    2015-06-01

    As Arctic regions warm, the large organic carbon pool stored in permafrost becomes increasingly vulnerable to thaw and decomposition. The transfer of newly mobilized carbon to the atmosphere and its potential influence upon climate change will largely depend on the reactivity and subsequent fate of carbon delivered to aquatic ecosystems. Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is a key regulator of aquatic metabolism and its biodegradability will determine the extent and rate of carbon release from aquatic ecosystems to the atmosphere. Knowledge of the mechanistic controls on DOC biodegradability is however currently poor due to a scarcity of long-term data sets, limited spatial coverage of available data, and methodological diversity. Here, we performed parallel biodegradable DOC (BDOC) experiments at six Arctic sites (16 experiments) using a standardized incubation protocol to examine the effect of methodological differences used as common practice in the literature. We further synthesized results from 14 aquatic and soil leachate BDOC studies from across the circum-arctic permafrost region to examine pan-Arctic trends in BDOC. An increasing extent of permafrost across the landscape resulted in higher BDOC losses in both soil and aquatic systems. We hypothesize that the unique composition of permafrost-derived DOC combined with limited prior microbial processing due to low soil temperature and relatively shorter flow path lengths and transport times, resulted in higher overall terrestrial and freshwater BDOC loss. Additionally, we found that the fraction of BDOC decreased moving down the fluvial network in continuous permafrost regions, i.e. from streams to large rivers, suggesting that highly biodegradable DOC is lost in headwater streams. We also observed a seasonal (January-December) decrease in BDOC losses in large streams and rivers, but no apparent change in smaller streams and soil leachates. We attribute this seasonal change to a combination of factors including

  18. Using Modeling Tools to Better Understand Permafrost Hydrology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clément Fabre

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Modification of the hydrological cycle and, subsequently, of other global cycles is expected in Arctic watersheds owing to global change. Future climate scenarios imply widespread permafrost degradation caused by an increase in air temperature, and the expected effect on permafrost hydrology is immense. This study aims at analyzing, and quantifying the daily water transfer in the largest Arctic river system, the Yenisei River in central Siberia, Russia, partially underlain by permafrost. The semi-distributed SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool hydrological model has been calibrated and validated at a daily time step in historical discharge simulations for the 2003–2014 period. The model parameters have been adjusted to embrace the hydrological features of permafrost. SWAT is shown capable to estimate water fluxes at a daily time step, especially during unfrozen periods, once are considered specific climatic and soils conditions adapted to a permafrost watershed. The model simulates average annual contribution to runoff of 263 millimeters per year (mm yr−1 distributed as 152 mm yr−1 (58% of surface runoff, 103 mm yr−1 (39% of lateral flow and 8 mm yr−1 (3% of return flow from the aquifer. These results are integrated on a reduced basin area downstream from large dams and are closer to observations than previous modeling exercises.

  19. Northern Peatland Shifts Under Changing Climate and Their Impact on Permafrost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shur, Y.; Jorgenson, T.; Kanevskiy, M. Z.

    2014-12-01

    Formation of peatlands depends primarily on climate and its interactions with hydrology, soil thermal regimes, plant composition, and nutrients. A water balance with precipitation exceeding evaporation is necessary for their formation. The rate of peat accumulation also greatly depends on thermal resources. The prominent impact of the water balance and temperature on peatland formation is evident in the West Siberia Lowland. The rate of peat accumulation steadily increases from arctic tundra to moss tundra, to forest tundra, to northern taiga, and to southern taiga. This increase is a result in increase in air temperature and length of the growing season because all of these zones have water balance favorable for peat formation. Further to south, evaporation prevails over precipitation and peat formation occurs only in isolated areas. Climate change will redefine geographical distribution of climatic and vegetation zones. It is predicted that in arctic and subarctic regions the difference between precipitation and evaporation will increase and as a result these regions will remain favorable to peat accumulation. With increase of thermal resources, the rate of peat accumulation will also increase. The Alaska Arctic Coastal Plain is of a special interest because it has thousands of shallow lakes, which due to warming climate would shift from open waterbodies to peatlands through shoreline paludification and infilling. The accumulation of organic matter will likely turn open water into shore fens and bogs, and eventually to peat plateaus, as is occurring in many boreal landscapes. Expected impact on permafrost in arctic and subarctic regions will include rise of the permafrost table, thickening of the ice-rich intermediate layer with ataxitic (suspended) cryostructure, and replacement of frost boils with earth hummocks. In the contemporary continuous permafrost zone, permafrost formed as climate-driven will be transformed into climate-driven ecosystem protected

  20. Quantifying Permafrost Characteristics with DCR-ERT

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schnabel, W.; Trochim, E.; Munk, J.; Kanevskiy, M. Z.; Shur, Y.; Fortier, R.

    2012-12-01

    Geophysical methods are an efficient method for quantifying permafrost characteristics for Arctic road design and engineering. In the Alaskan Arctic construction and maintenance of roads requires integration of permafrost; ground that is below 0 degrees C for two or more years. Features such as ice content and temperature are critical for understanding current and future ground conditions for planning, design and evaluation of engineering applications. This study focused on the proposed Foothills West Transportation Access project corridor where the purpose is to construct a new all-season road connecting the Dalton Highway to Umiat. Four major areas were chosen that represented a range of conditions including gravel bars, alluvial plains, tussock tundra (both unburned and burned conditions), high and low centered ice-wedge polygons and an active thermokarst feature. Direct-current resistivity using galvanic contact (DCR-ERT) was applied over transects. In conjunction complimentary site data including boreholes, active layer depths, vegetation descriptions and site photographs was obtained. The boreholes provided information on soil morphology, ice texture and gravimetric moisture content. Horizontal and vertical resolutions in the DCR-ERT were varied to determine the presence or absence of ground ice; subsurface heterogeneity; and the depth to groundwater (if present). The four main DCR-ERT methods used were: 84 electrodes with 2 m spacing; 42 electrodes with 0.5 m spacing; 42 electrodes with 2 m spacing; and 84 electrodes with 1 m spacing. In terms of identifying the ground ice characteristics the higher horizontal resolution DCR-ERT transects with either 42 or 84 electrodes and 0.5 or 1 m spacing were best able to differentiate wedge-ice. This evaluation is based on a combination of both borehole stratigraphy and surface characteristics. Simulated apparent resistivity values for permafrost areas varied from a low of 4582 Ω m to a high of 10034 Ω m. Previous

  1. Morphology, biology and phylogeny of Phalansterium arcticum sp. n. (Amoebozoa, Variosea), isolated from ancient Arctic permafrost.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shmakova, Lyubov A; Karpov, Sergey A; Malavin, Stanislav A; Smirnov, Alexey V

    2018-04-01

    A new species, Phalansterium arcticum sp. n., was isolated from an 8580-year-old Arctic permafrost layer. This organism typically lives as a sedentary uniflagellated cell enclosed in a thin flexible mucilaginous sheath, but can form naked swimming cells and amoeboid cells with eruptive pseudopodia accompanied with the formation of short, filopodia-like projections. In an SSU rDNA phylogenetic tree, it robustly groups with other species of this genus. Along with a description of the species, we also add new details to the description of the cell division of Phalansterium and the feeding process in this organism. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  2. Permafrost collapse after shrub removal shifts tundra ecosystem into methane source

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nauta, A.L.; Heijmans, M.M.P.D.; Blok, D.; Limpens, J.; Elberling, B.; Gallagher, A.; Li, B.; Petrov, R.E.; Maximov, T.C.; van Huissteden, J.; Berendse, F.

    2015-01-01

    Arctic tundra ecosystems are warming almost twice as fast as the global average. Permafrost thaw and the resulting release of greenhouse gases from decomposing soil organic carbon have the potential to accelerate climate warming. In recent decades, Arctic tundra ecosystems have changed rapidly,

  3. Dissolved organic carbon loss from Yedoma permafrost amplified by ice wedge thaw

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vonk, J.E.; Mann, P.J.; Dowdy, K.L.; Davydova, A.; Davydov, S.P.; Zimov, N.; Spencer, R.G.M.; Bulygina, E.B.; Eglinton, T.I.; Holmes, R.M.

    2013-01-01

    Pleistocene Yedoma permafrost contains nearly a third of all organic matter (OM) stored in circum-arctic permafrost and is characterized by the presence of massive ice wedges. Due to its rapid formation by sediment accumulation and subsequent frozen storage, Yedoma OM is relatively well preserved

  4. Observations and Impacts of Permafrost Thaw in the Lower Yukon River Basin and Yukon Delta Region: the Importance of Local Knowledge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herman-Mercer, N. M.; Elder, K.; Toohey, R.; Mutter, E. A.

    2015-12-01

    In regions of the arctic and subarctic baseline measurements of permafrost dynamics are lacking and scientific research can be especially expensive when remote sensing techniques are utilized. This research demonstrated the importance of local observations, a powerful tool for understanding landscape change, such as permafrost dynamics. Fifty-five interviews were recently conducted with community members in four villages of the lower Yukon River Basin and Yukon Delta to understand local environmental and landscape changes and the impacts these changes may be having on the lives and livelihoods of these communities. The interviews were semi-structured and focused on many climate and landscape change factors including knowledge of permafrost in their community or the surrounding landscape. All positive respondents stated that they believe the permafrost is thawing. The research revealed that residents of the arctic and subarctic interact with permafrost in a variety of ways. Some people utilize permafrost to store food resources and have found that they have to dig deeper presently than in their youth in order to find ground cold enough. Others are involved in digging graves and report encountering easier excavation in recent years. Subsistence hunters and gatherers travel long distances by snowmobile and boat, and have noticed slumping ground, eroding river banks and coast lines, as well as land that seems to be rising. Finally, all residents of the arctic and subarctic interact with permafrost in terms of the stability of their homes and other infrastructure. Many interview participants complained of their houses leaning and needing more frequent adjustment than in the past. Indigenous residents of the arctic and subarctic have intimate relationships with their landscape owing to their subsistence lifestyle and are also connected to the landscape of the past through the teachings of their elders. Further, arctic and subarctic communities will sustain the majority

  5. Biodegradability of dissolved organic carbon in permafrost soils and aquatic systems: a meta-analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vonk, J. E.; Tank, S. E.; Mann, P. J.; Spencer, R. G. M.; Treat, C. C.; Striegl, R. G.; Abbott, B. W.; Wickland, K. P.

    2015-12-01

    As Arctic regions warm and frozen soils thaw, the large organic carbon pool stored in permafrost becomes increasingly vulnerable to decomposition or transport. The transfer of newly mobilized carbon to the atmosphere and its potential influence upon climate change will largely depend on the degradability of carbon delivered to aquatic ecosystems. Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is a key regulator of aquatic metabolism, yet knowledge of the mechanistic controls on DOC biodegradability is currently poor due to a scarcity of long-term data sets, limited spatial coverage of available data, and methodological diversity. Here, we performed parallel biodegradable DOC (BDOC) experiments at six Arctic sites (16 experiments) using a standardized incubation protocol to examine the effect of methodological differences commonly used in the literature. We also synthesized results from 14 aquatic and soil leachate BDOC studies from across the circum-arctic permafrost region to examine pan-arctic trends in BDOC. An increasing extent of permafrost across the landscape resulted in higher DOC losses in both soil and aquatic systems. We hypothesize that the unique composition of (yedoma) permafrost-derived DOC combined with limited prior microbial processing due to low soil temperature and relatively short flow path lengths and transport times, contributed to a higher overall terrestrial and freshwater DOC loss. Additionally, we found that the fraction of BDOC decreased moving down the fluvial network in continuous permafrost regions, i.e. from streams to large rivers, suggesting that highly biodegradable DOC is lost in headwater streams. We also observed a seasonal (January-December) decrease in BDOC in large streams and rivers, but saw no apparent change in smaller streams or soil leachates. We attribute this seasonal change to a combination of factors including shifts in carbon source, changing DOC residence time related to increasing thaw-depth, increasing water temperatures later

  6. Semiautomatic mapping of permafrost in the Yukon Flats, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gulbrandsen, Mats Lundh; Minsley, Burke J.; Ball, Lyndsay B.; Hansen, Thomas Mejer

    2016-01-01

    Thawing of permafrost due to global warming can have major impacts on hydrogeological processes, climate feedback, arctic ecology, and local environments. To understand these effects and processes, it is crucial to know the distribution of permafrost. In this study we exploit the fact that airborne electromagnetic (AEM) data are sensitive to the distribution of permafrost and demonstrate how the distribution of permafrost in the Yukon Flats, Alaska, is mapped in an efficient (semiautomatic) way, using a combination of supervised and unsupervised (machine) learning algorithms, i.e., Smart Interpretation and K-means clustering. Clustering is used to sort unfrozen and frozen regions, and Smart Interpretation is used to predict the depth of permafrost based on expert interpretations. This workflow allows, for the first time, a quantitative and objective approach to efficiently map permafrost based on large amounts of AEM data.

  7. Evaluating the use of testate amoebae for palaeohydrological reconstruction in permafrost peatlands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Swindles, Graeme T.; Amesbury, Matthew J.; Turner, T. Edward

    2015-01-01

    The melting of high-latitude permafrost peatlands is a major concern due to a potential positive feedback on global climate change. We examine the ecology of testate amoebae in permafrost peatlands, based on sites in Sweden (similar to 200 km north of the Arctic Circle). Multivariate statistical ...

  8. Temporal Behavior of Lake Size-Distribution in a Thawing Permafrost Landscape in Northwestern Siberia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johanna Mård Karlsson

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Arctic warming alters regional hydrological systems, as permafrost thaw increases active layer thickness and in turn alters the pathways of water flow through the landscape. Further, permafrost thaw may change the connectivity between deeper and shallower groundwater and surface water altering the terrestrial water balance and distribution. Thermokarst lakes and wetlands in the Arctic offer a window into such changes as these landscape elements depend on permafrost and are some of the most dynamic and widespread features in Arctic lowland regions. In this study we used Landsat remotely sensed imagery to investigate potential shifts in thermokarst lake size-distributions, which may be brought about by permafrost thaw, over three distinct time periods (1973, 1987–1988, and 2007–2009 in three hydrological basins in northwestern Siberia. Results revealed fluctuations in total area and number of lakes over time, with both appearing and disappearing lakes alongside stable lakes. On the whole basin scales, there is no indication of any sustained long-term change in thermokarst lake area or lake size abundance over time. This statistical temporal consistency indicates that spatially variable change effects on local permafrost conditions have driven the individual lake changes that have indeed occurred over time. The results highlight the importance of using multi-temporal remote sensing data that can reveal complex spatiotemporal variations distinguishing fluctuations from sustained change trends, for accurate interpretation of thermokarst lake changes and their possible drivers in periods of climate and permafrost change.

  9. Evaluating climate variables, indexes and thresholds governing Arctic urban sustainability: case study of Russian permafrost regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anisimov, O. A.; Kokorev, V.

    2013-12-01

    Addressing Arctic urban sustainability today forces planners to deal with the complex interplay of multiple factors, including governance and economic development, demography and migration, environmental changes and land use, changes in the ecosystems and their services, and climate change. While the latter can be seen as a factor that exacerbates the existing vulnerabilities to other stressors, changes in temperature, precipitation, snow, river and lake ice, and the hydrological regime also have direct implications for the cities in the North. Climate change leads to reduced demand for heating energy, on one hand, and heightened concerns about the fate of the infrastructure built upon thawing permafrost, on the other. Changes in snowfall are particularly important and have direct implications for the urban economy, as together with heating costs, expenses for snow removal from streets, airport runways, roofs and ventilation corridors underneath buildings erected on pile foundations on permafrost constitute the bulk of the city's maintenance budget. Many cities are located in river valleys and are prone to flooding that leads to enormous economic losses and casualties, including human deaths. The severity of the northern climate has direct implications for demographic changes governed by regional migration and labor flows. Climate could thus be viewed as an inexhaustible public resource that creates opportunities for sustainable urban development. Long-term trends show that climate as a resource is becoming more readily available in the Russian North, notwithstanding the general perception that globally climate change is one of the challenges facing humanity in the 21st century. In this study we explore the sustainability of the Arctic urban environment under changing climatic conditions. We identify key governing variables and indexes and study the thresholds beyond which changes in the governing climatic parameters have significant impact on the economy

  10. The Global Terrestrial Network for Permafrost Database: metadata statistics and prospective analysis on future permafrost temperature and active layer depth monitoring site distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biskaborn, B. K.; Lanckman, J.-P.; Lantuit, H.; Elger, K.; Streletskiy, D. A.; Cable, W. L.; Romanovsky, V. E.

    2015-03-01

    The Global Terrestrial Network for Permafrost (GTN-P) provides the first dynamic database associated with the Thermal State of Permafrost (TSP) and the Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring (CALM) programs, which extensively collect permafrost temperature and active layer thickness data from Arctic, Antarctic and Mountain permafrost regions. The purpose of the database is to establish an "early warning system" for the consequences of climate change in permafrost regions and to provide standardized thermal permafrost data to global models. In this paper we perform statistical analysis of the GTN-P metadata aiming to identify the spatial gaps in the GTN-P site distribution in relation to climate-effective environmental parameters. We describe the concept and structure of the Data Management System in regard to user operability, data transfer and data policy. We outline data sources and data processing including quality control strategies. Assessment of the metadata and data quality reveals 63% metadata completeness at active layer sites and 50% metadata completeness for boreholes. Voronoi Tessellation Analysis on the spatial sample distribution of boreholes and active layer measurement sites quantifies the distribution inhomogeneity and provides potential locations of additional permafrost research sites to improve the representativeness of thermal monitoring across areas underlain by permafrost. The depth distribution of the boreholes reveals that 73% are shallower than 25 m and 27% are deeper, reaching a maximum of 1 km depth. Comparison of the GTN-P site distribution with permafrost zones, soil organic carbon contents and vegetation types exhibits different local to regional monitoring situations on maps. Preferential slope orientation at the sites most likely causes a bias in the temperature monitoring and should be taken into account when using the data for global models. The distribution of GTN-P sites within zones of projected temperature change show a high

  11. Permafrost collapse after shrub removal shifts tundra ecosystem to a methane source

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nauta, A.L.; Heijmans, M.M.P.D.; Blok, D.; Limpens, J.; Elberling, B.; Gallagher, A.; Li, B.; Petrov, R.E.; Maximov, T.C.; Huissteden, van J.; Berendse, F.

    2015-01-01

    Arctic tundra ecosystems are warming almost twice as fast as the global average1. Permafrost thaw and the resulting release of greenhouse gases from decomposing soil organic carbon have the potential to accelerate climate warming2, 3. In recent decades, Arctic tundra ecosystems have changed

  12. Arctic pipeline planning design, construction, and equipment

    CERN Document Server

    Singh, Ramesh

    2013-01-01

    Utilize the most recent developments to combat challenges such as ice mechanics. The perfect companion for engineers wishing to learn state-of-the-art methods or further develop their knowledge of best practice techniques, Arctic Pipeline Planning provides a working knowledge of the technology and techniques for laying pipelines in the coldest regions of the world. Arctic Pipeline Planning provides must-have elements that can be utilized through all phases of arctic pipeline planning and construction. This includes information on how to: Solve challenges in designing arctic pipelines Protect pipelines from everyday threats such as ice gouging and permafrost Maintain safety and communication for construction workers while supporting typical codes and standards Covers such issues as land survey, trenching or above ground, environmental impact of construction Provides on-site problem-solving techniques utilized through all phases of arctic pipeline planning and construction Is packed with easy-to-read and under...

  13. Arctic adaptation and climate change

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Agnew, T.A.; Headley, A.

    1994-01-01

    The amplification of climatic warming in the Arctic and the sensitivity of physical, biological, and human systems to changes in climate make the Arctic particularly vulnerable to climate changes. Large areas of the Arctic permafrost and sea ice are expected to disappear under climate warming and these changes will have considerable impacts on the natural and built environment of the north. A review is presented of some recent studies on what these impacts could be for the permafrost and sea ice environment and to identify linkages with socioeconomic activities. Terrestrial adaptation to climate change will include increases in ground temperature; melting of permafrost with consequences such as frost heave, mudslides, and substantial settlement; rotting of peat contained in permafrost areas, with subsequent emission of CO 2 ; increased risk of forest fire; and flooding of low-lying areas. With regard to the manmade environment, structures that will be affected include buildings, pipelines, highways, airports, mines, and railways. In marine areas, climate change will increase the ice-free period for marine transport operations and thus provide some benefit to the offshore petroleum industry. This benefit will be offset by increased wave height and period, and increased coastal erosion. The offshore industry needs to be particularly concerned with these impacts since the expected design life of industry facilities (30-60 y) is of the same order as the time frame for possible climatic changes. 18 refs., 5 figs

  14. Quantifying shallow and deep permafrost changes using radar remote sensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teshebaeva, K.; van Huissteden, K. J.

    2017-12-01

    Widespread thawing of permafrost in the northern Eurasian continent cause severe problems for infrastructure and global climate. Permafrost thaw by climate warming creates land surface instability, resulting in severe problems for infrastructure, and release of organic matter to the atmosphere as CO2 and CH4. Recent discoveries of CH4 seeps in lakes, in the Arctic Ocean, and CH4 emitting craters in the permafrost. These features indicate that permafrost destabilization might no longer be a surface feature only, but that also deeper layers of the permafrost, up to tens of meters, may be affected by warming. We study two potential areas in Siberian arctic; one of the test site is the Kytalyk research station near Chokurdagh town affected with a recent inundation of the Indigirka river in July 2017, which resulted in standing surface water for the period over a month. The wet soil and standing water may cause changes in active layer thickness and influence the thermal regime of the permafrost for the next decades in the region. The second test site is Yamal peninsula with recently CH4 emitting craters, which may start to contribute to emission hotspots. We hypothesize that these deeper subsurface processes also can be detected by mapping surface elevation changes using advanced SAR techniques. We test the potential of SAR imagery to enhance detection of these features, including surface movement related to permafrost active layer changes using InSAR time-series analysis. We also apply radar backscatter signal to detect seasonal changes related to the freeze-thaw cycles. The PRISM elevation data are used to estimate elevation changes in the region along with ground-based geophysical and geodetical fieldwork.

  15. Permafrost Stores a Globally Significant Amount of Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuster, Paul F.; Schaefer, Kevin M.; Aiken, George R.; Antweiler, Ronald C.; Dewild, John F.; Gryziec, Joshua D.; Gusmeroli, Alessio; Hugelius, Gustaf; Jafarov, Elchin; Krabbenhoft, David P.; Liu, Lin; Herman-Mercer, Nicole; Mu, Cuicui; Roth, David A.; Schaefer, Tim; Striegl, Robert G.; Wickland, Kimberly P.; Zhang, Tingjun

    2018-02-01

    Changing climate in northern regions is causing permafrost to thaw with major implications for the global mercury (Hg) cycle. We estimated Hg in permafrost regions based on in situ measurements of sediment total mercury (STHg), soil organic carbon (SOC), and the Hg to carbon ratio (RHgC) combined with maps of soil carbon. We measured a median STHg of 43 ± 30 ng Hg g soil-1 and a median RHgC of 1.6 ± 0.9 μg Hg g C-1, consistent with published results of STHg for tundra soils and 11,000 measurements from 4,926 temperate, nonpermafrost sites in North America and Eurasia. We estimate that the Northern Hemisphere permafrost regions contain 1,656 ± 962 Gg Hg, of which 793 ± 461 Gg Hg is frozen in permafrost. Permafrost soils store nearly twice as much Hg as all other soils, the ocean, and the atmosphere combined, and this Hg is vulnerable to release as permafrost thaws over the next century. Existing estimates greatly underestimate Hg in permafrost soils, indicating a need to reevaluate the role of the Arctic regions in the global Hg cycle.

  16. Fossil organic matter characteristics in permafrost deposits of the northeast Siberian Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lutz Schirrmeister; Guido Grosse; Sebastian Wetterich; Pier Paul Overduin; Jens Straub; Edward A.G. Schuur; Hans-Wolfgang. Hubberton

    2011-01-01

    Permafrost deposits constitute a large organic carbon pool highly vulnerable to degradation and potential carbon release due to global warming. Permafrost sections along coastal and river bank exposures in NE Siberia were studied for organic matter (OM) characteristics and ice content. OM stored in Quaternary permafrost grew, accumulated, froze, partly decomposed, and...

  17. The Ecological Situation in the Russian Arctic Permafrost Zone

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petrov Sergei

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper describes innovative approaches to ensure environmental safety in the production of hydrocarbon material in a permafrost zone. Studies the anthropogenic environmental factors, climatic and geographical and geological conditions of Purovskiy district of Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area (YaNAO. We consider the chemical characteristics of wastewater discharged into surface water objects, polluting emissions into the atmosphere. The conclusions of the environmental situation in Purovskiy and Ustpurovsk-Tazovskiy permafrost areas. Calculate the concentration of pollutants in the control section of the water object and the maximum ground-level concentrations of pollutants in the atmospheric air. The conclusions about the exceeding the maximum permissible concentration (MPC in the atmospheric air for solids, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide. Was examined the climatic conditions of the Far North. Correlational analysis was performed between human factors and temperature conditions of the northern territories, as well as between the climate and natural features cryological and disturbed permafrost soils.

  18. The role of deep nitrogen and dynamic rooting profiles on vegetation dynamics and productivity in response to permafrost thaw and climate change in Arctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hewitt, R. E.; Helene, G.; Taylor, D. L.; McGuire, A. D.; Mack, M. C.

    2017-12-01

    The release of permafrost-derived nitrogen (N) has the potential to fertilize tundra vegetation, modulating plant competition, stimulating productivity, and offsetting carbon losses from thawing permafrost. Dynamic rooting, mycorrhizal interactions, and coupling of N availability and root N uptake have been identified as gaps in ecosystem models. As a first step towards understanding whether Arctic plants can access deep permafrost-derived N, we characterized rooting profiles and quantified acquisition of 15N tracer applied at the permafrost boundary by moist acidic tundra plants subjected to almost three decades of warming at Toolik Lake, Alaska. In the ambient control plots the vegetation biomass is distributed between five plant functional types (PFTs): sedges, evergreen and deciduous shrubs, mosses and in lower abundance, forbs. The warming treatment has resulted in the increase of deciduous shrub biomass and the loss of sedges, evergreen shrubs, and mosses. We harvested roots by depth increment down to the top of the permafrost. Roots were classified by size class and PFT. The average thaw depth in the warmed plots was 58.3 cm ± 6.4 S.E., close to 18 cm deeper than the average thaw depth in the ambient plots (40.8 cm ± 1.8 S.E.). Across treatments the deepest rooting species was Rubus chamaemorus (ambient 40.8 cm ± 1.8 S.E., warmed 50.3 cm ± 9.8 S.E.), a non-mycorrhizal forb, followed by Eriophorum vaginatum, a non-mycorrhizal sedge. Ectomycorrhizal deciduous and ericoid mycorrhizal evergreen shrubs were rooted at more shallow depths. Deeply rooted non-mycorrhizal species had the greatest uptake of 15N tracer within 24 hours across treatments. Tracer uptake was greatest for roots of E. vaginatum in ambient plots and R. chamaemorus in warmed plots. Root profiles were integrated into a process-based ecosystem model coupled with a dynamic vegetation model. Functions modeling dynamic rooting profile relative to thaw depth were implemented for each PFT. The

  19. Widespread release of old carbon across the Siberian Arctic echoed by its large rivers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ö. Gustafsson

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Over decadal-centennial timescales, only a few mechanisms in the carbon-climate system could cause a massive net redistribution of carbon from land and ocean systems to the atmosphere in response to climate warming. The largest such climate-vulnerable carbon pool is the old organic carbon (OC stored in Arctic permafrost (perennially frozen soils. Climate warming, both predicted and now observed to be the strongest globally in the Eurasian Arctic and Alaska, causes thaw-release of old permafrost carbon from local tundra sites. However, a central challenge for the assessment of the general vulnerability of this old OC pool is to deduce any signal integrating its release over larger scales. Here we examine radiocarbon measurements of molecular soil markers exported by the five Great Russian-Arctic Rivers (Ob, Yenisey, Lena, Indigirka and Kolyma, employed as natural integrators of carbon release processes in their watersheds. The signals held in estuarine surface sediments revealed that average radiocarbon ages of n-alkanes increased east-to-west from 6400 yr BP in Kolyma to 11 400 yr BP in Ob. This is consistent with westwards trends of both warmer climate and more degraded organic matter as indicated by the ratio of high molecular weight (HMW n-alkanoic acids to HMW n-alkanes. The dynamics of Siberian permafrost can thus be probed via the molecular-radiocarbon signal as carried by Arctic rivers. Old permafrost carbon is at present vulnerable to mobilization over continental scales. Climate-induced changes in the radiocarbon fingerprint of released permafrost carbon will likely depend on changes in both permafrost coverage and Arctic soil hydraulics.

  20. Permafrost stores a globally significant amount of mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaefer, K. M.; Schuster, P. F.; Antweiler, R.; Aiken, G.; DeWild, J.; Gryziec, J. D.; Gusmeroli, A.; Hugelius, G.; Jafarov, E.; Krabbenhoft, D. P.; Liu, L.; Herman-Mercer, N. M.; Mu, C.; Roth, D. A.; Schaefer, T.; Striegl, R. G.; Wickland, K.; Zhang, T.

    2017-12-01

    Changing climate in northern regions is causing permafrost to thaw with major implications for the cycling of mercury in arctic and subarctic ecosystems. Permafrost occurs in nearly one quarter of the Earth's Northern Hemisphere. We measured total soil mercury concentration in 588 samples from 13 soil permafrost cores from the interior and the North Slope of Alaska. The median concentration was 47.7±23.4 ng Hg g soil-1 and the median ratio of Hg to carbon was 1.56±0.86 µg Hg g C-1. We estimate Alaskan permafrost stores 56±32 kilotons of mercury and the entire northern hemisphere permafrost land mass stores 773±441 kilotons of mercury. This increases estimates of mercury stored in soils by 60%, making permafrost the second largest reservoir of mercury on the planet. Climate projections indicate extensive permafrost thawing, releasing mercury into the environment through a variety of mechanisms, for example, terrestrial transport via dissolved organic carbon (DOC), gaseous elemental mercury (GEM) evasion, forest fires, atmospheric mixing processes with ozone, and Springtime atmospheric Hg depletion after the polar sunrise. These findings have major implications for terrestrial and aquatic life, the world's fisheries, and ultimately human health.

  1. Permafrost stores a globally significant amount of mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuster, Paul F.; Schaefer, Kevin; Aiken, George R.; Antweiler, Ronald C.; DeWild, John F.; Gryziec, Joshua D.; Gusmeroli, Alessio; Hugelius, Gustaf; Jafarov, Elchin E.; Krabbenhoft, David P.; Liu, Lin; Herman-Mercer, Nicole M.; Mu, Cuicui; Roth, David A.; Schaefer, Tim; Striegl, Robert G.; Wickland, Kimberly P.; Zhang, Tingjun

    2018-01-01

    Changing climate in northern regions is causing permafrost to thaw with major implications for the global mercury (Hg) cycle. We estimated Hg in permafrost regions based on in situ measurements of sediment total mercury (STHg), soil organic carbon (SOC), and the Hg to carbon ratio (RHgC) combined with maps of soil carbon. We measured a median STHg of 43 ± 30 ng Hg g soil−1 and a median RHgC of 1.6 ± 0.9 μg Hg g C−1, consistent with published results of STHg for tundra soils and 11,000 measurements from 4,926 temperate, nonpermafrost sites in North America and Eurasia. We estimate that the Northern Hemisphere permafrost regions contain 1,656 ± 962 Gg Hg, of which 793 ± 461 Gg Hg is frozen in permafrost. Permafrost soils store nearly twice as much Hg as all other soils, the ocean, and the atmosphere combined, and this Hg is vulnerable to release as permafrost thaws over the next century. Existing estimates greatly underestimate Hg in permafrost soils, indicating a need to reevaluate the role of the Arctic regions in the global Hg cycle.

  2. Methane from the East Siberian Arctic shelf

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petrenko...[], Vasilii V.; Etheridge, David M.

    2010-01-01

    In their Report “Extensive methane venting to the atmosphere from sediments of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf” (5 March, p. 1246), N. Shakhova et al. write that methane (CH4) release resulting from thawing Arctic permafrost “is a likely positive feedback to climate warming.” They add...

  3. Cryolithozone of Western Arctic shelf of Russia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kholmyanskii, Mikhail; Vladimirov, Maksim; Snopova, Ekaterina; Kartashev, Aleksandr

    2017-04-01

    We propose a new original version of the structure of the cryolithozone of west Arctic seas of Russia. In contrast to variants of construction of sections and maps based on thermodynamic modeling, the authors have used electrometric, seismic, and thermal data including their own profile measurements by near-field transient electromagnetic technique and seismic profile observations by reflection method. As a result, we defined the spatial characteristics of cryolithozone and managed to differentiate it to several layers, different both in structure and formation time. We confirmed once again that the spatial boundary of cryolithozone, type and thickness of permafrost, chilled rocks and thawed ground are primarily determined by tectonic and oceanographic regimes of the Arctic Ocean and adjacent land in different geological epochs. Permafrost formed on the land in times of cold weather, turn to submarine during flooding and overlap, in the case of the sea transgression, by marine sediments accumulating in the period of warming. We have been able to establish a clear link between the permafrost thickness and the geomorphological structure of the area. This can be explained by the distribution of thermodynamic flows that change the temperature state of previously formed permafrost rocks. Formation in the outer parts of the shelf which took place at ancient conversion stage can be characterized by the structure: • permafrost table - consists of rocks, where the sea water with a temperature below 0 °C has replaced the melted ice; • middle horizon - composed of undisturbed rocks, and the rocks chilled through the lower sieving underlay; As a result of the interpretation and analysis of all the available data, the authors created a map of types of cryolithozone of the Western Arctic shelf of Russia. The following distribution areas are marked on the map: • single-layer cryolithozone (composed of sediments upper Pleistocene and Holocene); • monosyllabic relict

  4. Estimating Rates of Permafrost Degradation and their Impact on Ecosystems across Alaska and Northwest Canada using the Process-based Permafrost Dynamics Model GIPL as a Component of the Integrated Ecosystem Model (IEM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marchenko, S. S.; Genet, H.; Euskirchen, E. S.; Breen, A. L.; McGuire, A. D.; Rupp, S. T.; Romanovsky, V. E.; Bolton, W. R.; Walsh, J. E.

    2016-12-01

    The impact of climate warming on permafrost and the potential of climate feedbacks resulting from permafrost thawing have recently received a great deal of attention. Permafrost temperature has increased in most locations in the Arctic and Sub-Arctic during the past 30-40 years. The typical increase in permafrost temperature is 1-3°C. The process-based permafrost dynamics model GIPL developed in the Geophysical Institute Permafrost Lab, and which is the permafrost module of the Integrated Ecosystem Model (IEM) has been using to quantify the nature and rate of permafrost degradation and its impact on ecosystems, infrastructure, CO2 and CH4fluxes and net C storage following permafrost thaw across Alaska and Northwest Canada. The IEM project is a multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary effort aimed at understanding potential landscape, habitat and ecosystem change across the IEM domain. The IEM project also aims to tie three scientific models together Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (TEM), the ALFRESCO (ALaska FRame-based EcoSystem Code) and GIPL so that they exchange data at run-time. The models produce forecasts of future fire, vegetation, organic matter, permafrost and hydrology regimes. The climate forcing data are based on the historical CRU3.1 data set for the retrospective analysis period (1901-2009) and the CMIP3 CCCMA-CGCM3.1 and MPI-ECHAM5/MPI-OM climate models for the future period (2009-2100). All data sets were downscaled to a 1 km resolution, using a differencing methodology (i.e., a delta method) and the Parameter-elevation Regressions on Independent Slopes Model (PRISM) climatology. We estimated the dynamics of permafrost temperature, active layer thickness, area occupied by permafrost, and volume of thawed soils across the IEM domain. The modeling results indicate how different types of ecosystems affect the thermal state of permafrost and its stability. Although the rate of soil warming and permafrost degradation in peatland areas are slower than

  5. Strong geologic methane emissions from discontinuous terrestrial permafrost in the Mackenzie Delta, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohnert, Katrin; Serafimovich, Andrei; Metzger, Stefan; Hartmann, Jörg; Sachs, Torsten

    2017-07-19

    Arctic permafrost caps vast amounts of old, geologic methane (CH 4 ) in subsurface reservoirs. Thawing permafrost opens pathways for this CH 4 to migrate to the surface. However, the occurrence of geologic emissions and their contribution to the CH 4 budget in addition to recent, biogenic CH 4 is uncertain. Here we present a high-resolution (100 m × 100 m) regional (10,000 km²) CH 4 flux map of the Mackenzie Delta, Canada, based on airborne CH 4 flux data from July 2012 and 2013. We identify strong, likely geologic emissions solely where the permafrost is discontinuous. These peaks are 13 times larger than typical biogenic emissions. Whereas microbial CH 4 production largely depends on recent air and soil temperature, geologic CH 4 was produced over millions of years and can be released year-round provided open pathways exist. Therefore, even though they only occur on about 1% of the area, geologic hotspots contribute 17% to the annual CH 4 emission estimate of our study area. We suggest that this share may increase if ongoing permafrost thaw opens new pathways. We conclude that, due to permafrost thaw, hydrocarbon-rich areas, prevalent in the Arctic, may see increased emission of geologic CH 4 in the future, in addition to enhanced microbial CH 4 production.

  6. Exploring Viral Mediated Carbon Cycling in Thawing Permafrost Microbial Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trubl, G. G.; Solonenko, N.; Moreno, M.; Sullivan, M. B.; Rich, V. I.

    2014-12-01

    Viruses are the most abundant biological entities on Earth and their impact on carbon cycling in permafrost habitats is poorly understood. Arctic C cycling is particularly important to interpret due to the rapid climate change occurring and the large amount of C stockpiled there (~1/3 of global soil C is stored in permafrost). Viruses of microbes (i.e. phages) play central roles in C cycling in the oceans, through cellular lysis (phage drive the largest ocean C flux about 150 Gt yr-1, dwarfing all others by >5-fold), production of associated DOC, as well as transport and expression during infection (1029 transduction events day-1). C cycling in thawing permafrost systems is critical in understanding the climate trajectory and phages may be as important for C cycling here as they are in the ocean. The thawed C may become a food source for microbes, producing CO2 and potentially CH4, both potent greenhouse gases. To address the potential role of phage in C cycling in these dynamic systems, we are examining phage from an arctic permafrost thaw gradient in northern Sweden. We have developed a protocol for successfully extracting phage from peat soils and are quantifying phage in 15 peat and 2 lake sediment cores, with the goal of sequencing viromes. Preliminary data suggest that phage are present at 109 g-1 across the permafrost thaw gradient (compared to the typical marine count ~105 ml-1), implying a potentially robust phage-host interaction web in these changing environments. We are examining phage from 11 depth intervals (covering the active and permafrost layer) in the cores to assess phage-host community dynamics. Phage morphology and abundance for each layer and environment are being determined using qTEM and EFM. Understanding the phage that infect bacteria and archaea in these rapidly changing habitats will provide insight into the controls on current and future CH4 and CO2 emissions in permafrost habitats.

  7. The effect of permafrost thaw on short- and long-term carbon accumulation in permafrost mires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olid, Carolina; Klaminder, Jonatan; Monteux, Sylvain; Johansson, Margareta; Dorrepaal, Ellen

    2017-04-01

    Permafrost stores twice as much carbon (C) as is currently present in the atmosphere. During recent years, warmer temperatures in the Arctic has caused rapid thawing of permafrost, which have dramatically altered permafrost C storage by increasing both microbial decomposition and plant productivity. Although current research focuses on the effects of climate change on these two processes, there are still no scientific consensus about the magnitude or even the direction of future C feedbacks from permafrost ecosystems. Field manipulation experiments have been widely used during the last decade to improve our knowledge about the net effects of permafrost thaw in the permafrost C storage. However, due to the slow response (decades) of permafrost ecosystems to environmental changes and the short-time nature of these experiments (usually shorter than 5-9 years), there are still concerns when attempting to extrapolate the results to predict long term effects. In addition, measurements are mostly taken exclusively during the summer season, without taking into account inter-annual variability in C fluxes and underestimating microbial activity throughout the cold season. The need to develop a comprehensive understanding of C fluxes over the entire year and at long temporal scales sets the basis of this study. This study aims to quantify the effects of permafrost thawing in permafrost C fluxes using a 12 years permafrost thaw experiment in northern Sweden. Our aims were to quantify the effect of permafrost thaw in both decomposition and primary production in active layer and newly thawed permafrost, and its implications for the C balance. Based on previous observations, we hypothesized that 1) soil decomposition rates were higher in manipulated thaw plots. However, 2) the observed increase in nutrients availability and the higher presence of vascular plants after thawing stimulate primary production, which compensates to some extent the increased C losses by respiration. To

  8. Archaeal communities of Arctic methane-containing permafrost.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shcherbakova, Victoria; Yoshimura, Yoshitaka; Ryzhmanova, Yana; Taguchi, Yukihiro; Segawa, Takahiro; Oshurkova, Victoria; Rivkina, Elizaveta

    2016-10-01

    In the present study, we used culture-independent methods to investigate the diversity of methanogenic archaea and their distribution in five permafrost samples collected from a borehole in the Kolyma River Lowland (north-east of Russia). Total DNA was extracted from methane-containing permafrost samples of different age and amplified by PCR. The resulting DNA fragments were cloned. Phylogenetic analysis of the sequences showed the presence of archaea in all studied samples; 60%-95% of sequences belonged to the Euryarchaeota. Methanogenic archaea were novel representatives of Methanosarcinales, Methanomicrobiales, Methanobacteriales and Methanocellales orders. Bathyarchaeota (Miscellaneous Crenarchaeota Group) representatives were found among nonmethanogenic archaea in all the samples studied. The Thaumarchaeota representatives were not found in the upper sample, whereas Woesearchaeota (formerly DHVEG-6) were found in the three deepest samples. Unexpectedly, the greatest diversity of archaea was observed at a depth of 22.3 m, probably due to the availability of the labile organic carbon and/or due to the migration of the microbial cells during the freezing front towards the bottom. © FEMS 2016. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  9. The impacts of recent permafrost thaw on land-atmosphere greenhouse gas exchange

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, Daniel J.; Kicklighter, David W.; McGuire, A. David; Chen, Min; Zhuang, Qianlai; Yuan, Fengming; Melillo, Jerry M.; Wullschleger, Stan D.

    2014-01-01

    Permafrost thaw and the subsequent mobilization of carbon (C) stored in previously frozen soil organic matter (SOM) have the potential to be a strong positive feedback to climate. As the northern permafrost region experiences as much as a doubling of the rate of warming as the rest of the Earth, the vast amount of C in permafrost soils is vulnerable to thaw, decomposition and release as atmospheric greenhouse gases. Diagnostic and predictive estimates of high-latitude terrestrial C fluxes vary widely among different models depending on how dynamics in permafrost, and the seasonally thawed 'active layer' above it, are represented. Here, we employ a process-based model simulation experiment to assess the net effect of active layer dynamics on this 'permafrost carbon feedback' in recent decades, from 1970 to 2006, over the circumpolar domain of continuous and discontinuous permafrost. Over this time period, the model estimates a mean increase of 6.8 cm in active layer thickness across the domain, which exposes a total of 11.6 Pg C of thawed SOM to decomposition. According to our simulation experiment, mobilization of this previously frozen C results in an estimated cumulative net source of 3.7 Pg C to the atmosphere since 1970 directly tied to active layer dynamics. Enhanced decomposition from the newly exposed SOM accounts for the release of both CO2 (4.0 Pg C) and CH4 (0.03 Pg C), but is partially compensated by CO2 uptake (0.3 Pg C) associated with enhanced net primary production of vegetation. This estimated net C transfer to the atmosphere from permafrost thaw represents a significant factor in the overall ecosystem carbon budget of the Pan-Arctic, and a non-trivial additional contribution on top of the combined fossil fuel emissions from the eight Arctic nations over this time period.

  10. High Arctic Nitrous Oxide Emissions Found on Large Spatial Scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkerson, J. P.; Sayres, D. S.; Dobosy, R.; Anderson, J. G.

    2017-12-01

    As the planet warms, greenhouse gas emissions from thawing permafrost can potentially increase the net radiative forcing in our climate structure. However, knowledge about Arctic N2O emissions is particularly sparse. Increasing evidence suggests emissions from permafrost thaw may be a significant natural source of N2O. This evidence, though, is either based on lab experiments or in situ chamber studies, which have extremely limited spatial coverage. Consequently, it has not been confirmed to what extent these high emissions are representative of broader arctic regions. Using an airborne eddy covariance flux technique, we measured N2O fluxes over large regions of Alaska in August 2013. From these measurements, we directly show that large areas of this Arctic region have high N2O emissions.

  11. Quantifying the Interactions Between Soil Thermal Characteristics, Soil Physical Properties, Hydro-geomorphological Conditions and Vegetation Distribution in an Arctic Watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dafflon, B.; Leger, E.; Robert, Y.; Ulrich, C.; Peterson, J. E.; Soom, F.; Biraud, S.; Tran, A. P.; Hubbard, S. S.

    2017-12-01

    types. The interaction between these zones is of strong interest to understand the evolution of the landscape and the permafrost distribution. The obtained information is expected to be useful for improving predictions of Arctic ecosystem feedbacks to climate.

  12. Cryostratigraphy and sedimentology of high-Arctic fjord-valleys

    OpenAIRE

    Gilbert, Graham Lewis

    2018-01-01

    Fjord-valleys, as sediment-filled palaeofjords, are characteristic of formerly glaciated mountainous coastal areas. High-Arctic fjord-valleys commonly host permafrost, but are poorly accessible and hence have drawn relatively little research. The research presented in this thesis combines the methods of cryostratigraphy, clastic sedimentology, sequence stratigraphy, geomorphology and geochronology to investigate the sedimentary infilling, permafrost formation and late Quaternary landscape dev...

  13. Assessment of climate and land use change impacts on surface water runoff and connectivity in a continuous permafrost catchment on the Arctic Coastal Plain, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaedeke, A.; Arp, C. D.; Liljedahl, A. K.; Daanen, R. P.; Whitman, M. S.

    2016-12-01

    A changing climate is leading to rapid transformations of hydrological processes in low-gradient Arctic terrestrial ecosystems which are dominated by lakes and ponds, wetlands, polygonised tundra, and connecting stream and river networks. The aim of this study is to gain a deeper understanding of the impacts of climate and land use change on surface water availability and connectivity by utilizing the process-based, spatially distributed hydrological model WaSiM. Crea Creek Watershed (30 km2), which is located in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A) was chosen as study area because of its permafrost landforms (bedfast and floating ice lakes, high and low centered polygons), existing observational data (discharge, snow depth, and meteorological variables since 2009), and resource management issues related to permafrost degradation and aquatic habitat dynamics. Foremost of concern is oil development scheduled to begin starting in 2017 with the construction of a permanent road and drilling pad directly within the Crea Watershed. An interdisciplinary team consisting of scientists and regional stakeholders defined the following scenarios to be simulated using WaSiM: (1) industrial development (impact of water removal from lakes (winter) for ice road construction on downstream (summer) runoff), (2) permanent road construction to allow oil companies access to develop and extract petroleum, and (3) potential modes of climate change including warmer, snowier winters and prolonged drought during summers. Downscaled meteorological output from the Weather Research & Forecasting Model (WRF) will be used as the forcing for analysis of climate scenarios alone and for assessment of land-use responses under varying climate scenarios. Our results will provide regional stakeholders with information on the impacts of climate and land use change on surface water connectivity that affects aquatic habitat, as well as lake hydrologic interactions with permafrost. These finding

  14. Effects of permafrost aggradation on peat properties as determined from a pan-Arctic synthesis of plant macrofossils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Treat, C.C.; Jones, Miriam C.; Camill, P.; Gallego-Sala, A.; Garneau, M.; Harden, Jennifer W.; Hugelius, G.; Klein, E.S.; Kokfelt, U.; Kuhry, P.; Loisel, Julie; Mathijssen, J.H.; O'Donnell, J.A.; Oksanen, P.O.; Ronkainen, T.M.; Sannel, A.B.K.; Talbot, J. J.; Tarnocal, C.M.; Valiranta, M.

    2016-01-01

    Permafrost dynamics play an important role in high-latitude peatland carbon balance and are key to understanding the future response of soil carbon stocks. Permafrost aggradation can control the magnitude of the carbon feedback in peatlands through effects on peat properties. We compiled peatland plant macrofossil records for the northern permafrost zone (515 cores from 280 sites) and classified samples by vegetation type and environmental class (fen, bog, tundra and boreal permafrost, and thawed permafrost). We examined differences in peat properties (bulk density, carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and organic matter content, and C/N ratio) and C accumulation rates among vegetation types and environmental classes. Consequences of permafrost aggradation differed between boreal and tundra biomes, including differences in vegetation composition, C/N ratios, and N content. The vegetation composition of tundra permafrost peatlands was similar to permafrost-free fens, while boreal permafrost peatlands more closely resembled permafrost-free bogs. Nitrogen content in boreal permafrost and thawed permafrost peatlands was significantly lower than in permafrost-free bogs despite similar vegetation types (0.9% versus 1.5% N). Median long-term C accumulation rates were higher in fens (23 g C m−2 yr−1) than in permafrost-free bogs (18 g C m−2 yr−1) and were lowest in boreal permafrost peatlands (14 g C m−2 yr−1). The plant macrofossil record demonstrated transitions from fens to bogs to permafrost peatlands, bogs to fens, permafrost aggradation within fens, and permafrost thaw and reaggradation. Using data synthesis, we have identified predominant peatland successional pathways, changes in vegetation type, peat properties, and C accumulation rates associated with permafrost aggradation.

  15. Evaluating the use of testate amoebae for palaeohydrological reconstruction in permafrost peatlands

    OpenAIRE

    Swindles, Graeme T.; Amesbury, Matthew J.; Turner, T. Edward; Carrivick, Jonathan L.; Woulds, Clare; Raby, Cassandra; Mullan, Donal; Roland, Thomas P.; Galloway, Jennifer M.; Parry, Lauren; Kokfelt, Ulla; Garneau, Michelle; Charman, Dan J.; Holden, Joseph

    2015-01-01

    The melting of high-latitude permafrost peatlands is a major concern due to a potential positive feedback on global climate change. We examine the ecology of testate amoebae in permafrost peatlands, based on sites in Sweden (~ 200 km north of the Arctic Circle). Multivariate statistical analysis confirms that water-table depth and moisture content are the dominant controls on the distribution of testate amoebae, corroborating the results from studies in mid-latitude peatlands. We present a ne...

  16. Changes in Hydrologic Conditions and Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Circumpolar Regions due to Climate Change Induced Permafrost Retreat

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Whiticar, M. J. [School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of Victoria, Victoria (Canada); Bhatti, J.; Startsev, N. [Northern Forestry Centre, St Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    2013-07-15

    Thawing permafrost peatlands substantially influence Canadian northern ecosystems by changing the regional hydrology and mobilizing the vast carbon (C) reserves that results in increased greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions to the atmosphere. With permafrost distribution controlled largely by topography and climate, our International polar y ear (IPY) study intensively monitored the local C cycling processes and GHG fluxes associated with different hydrologic and permafrost environments at 4 sites along a climatic gradient extending from the Isolated patches permafrost Zone (northern alberta), to the continuous permafrost Zone (Inuvik, NWT). Each site encompasses a local gradient from upland forest and peat plateau to collapse scar. Our multi-year measurements of peatland profiles and flux chambers for CH{sub 4} and CO{sub 2} concentrations and stable isotope ratios indicate processes, including methanogenesis, methanotrophy, transport and emission that control the distribution of these GHGs. These relationships are modulated by fluctuating local soil water and corresponding ecosystem conditions. The gas geochemistry shows that significant surface CH{sub 4} production occurs by both hydrogenotrophic and acetoclastic methanogenesis in submerged, anaerobic peats, e.g., collapse scars, whereas methane oxidation is restricted to aerobic, drier environments, e.g., upland sites and peat-atmosphere interface. The most active methanogenesis and emissions are in areas of actively thawing permafrost contrasting with sites under continuous permafrost. This degree of methanogenesis is being amplified by the increased rate of Arctic warming and the rapid retreat of permafrost in canada's arctic (approximately. 2.5 km/a). (author)

  17. Using in-field and remote sensing techniques for the monitoring of small-scale permafrost decline in Northern Quebec

    Science.gov (United States)

    May, Inga; Kim, Jun Su; Spannraft, Kati; Ludwig, Ralf; Hajnsek, Irena; Bernier, Monique; Allard, Michel

    2010-05-01

    Permafrost-affected soils represent about 45% of Canadian arctic and subarctic regions. Under the recently recorded changed climate conditions, the areas located in the discontinuous permafrost zones are likely to belong to the most impacted environments. Degradations of Palsas and lithalsas as being the most distinct permafrost landforms as well as an extension of wetlands have been observe during the past decades by several research teams all over the northern Arctic. These alterations, caused by longer an warmer thawing periods, are expected to become more and more frequent in the future. The effects on human beings and on the surrounding sensitive ecosystems are presumed to be momentous and of high relevance. Hence, there is a high demand for new techniques that are able to detect, and possibly even predict, the behavior of the permafrost within a changing environment. The presented study is part of an international research collaboration between LMU, INRS and UL within the framework of ArcticNet. The project intends to develop a monitoring system strongly based on remote sensing imagery and GIS-based data analysis, using a test site located in northern Quebec (Umiujaq, 56°33' N, 76°33' W). It shall be investigated to which extent the interpretation of satellite imagery is feasible to partially substitute costly and difficult geophysical point measurements, and to provide spatial knowledge about the major factors that control permafrost dynamics and ecosystem change. In a first step, these factors, mainly expected to be determined from changes in topography, vegetation cover and snow cover, are identified and validated by means of several consecutive ground truthing initiatives supporting the analysis of multi-sensoral time series of remotely sensed information. Both sources are used to generate and feed different concepts for modeling permafrost dynamics by ways of parameter retrieval and data assimilation. On this poster, the outcomes of the first project

  18. Limnological characteristics of 56 lakes in the Central Canadian Arctic Treeline Region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John P. SMOL

    2003-02-01

    Full Text Available Measured environmental variables from 56 lakes across the Central Canadian Treeline Region exhibited clear limnological differences among subpolar ecozones, reflecting strong latitudinal changes in biome characteristics (e.g. vegetation, permafrost, climate. Principal Components Analysis (PCA clearly separated forested sites from tundra sites based on distinct differences in limnological characteristics. Increases in major ions and related variables (e.g. dissolved inorganic carbon, DIC were higher in boreal forest sites in comparison to arctic tundra sites. The higher values recorded in the boreal forest lakes may be indirectly related to differences in climatic factors in these zones, such as the degree of permafrost development, higher precipitation and runoff, duration of ice-cover on the lakes, and thicker and better soil development. Similar to trends observed in DIC, substantially higher values for dissolved organic carbon (DOC were measured in boreal forest lakes than in arctic tundra lakes. This was likely due to higher amounts of catchment-derived DOC entering the lakes from coniferous leaf litter sources. Relative to arctic tundra lakes, boreal forest lakes had higher nutrient concentrations, particularly total nitrogen (TN, likely due to warmer conditions, a longer growing season, and higher precipitation, which would enhance nutrient cycling and primary productivity. Results suggest that modern aquatic environments at opposite sides of the central Canadian arctic treeline (i.e. boreal forest and arctic tundra exhibit distinct differences in water chemistry and physical conditions. These limnological trends may provide important information on possible future changes with additional warming.

  19. Permafrost thawing in organic Arctic soils accelerated by ground heat production

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hollesen, Jørgen; Matthiesen, Henning; Møller, Anders Bjørn

    2015-01-01

    Decomposition of organic carbon from thawing permafrost soils and the resulting release of carbon to the atmosphere are considered to represent a potentially critical global-scale feedback on climate change1, 2. The accompanying heat production from microbial metabolism of organic material has been...... recognized as a potential positive-feedback mechanism that would enhance permafrost thawing and the release of carbon3, 4. This internal heat production is poorly understood, however, and the strength of this effect remains unclear3. Here, we have quantified the variability of heat production in contrasting...... organic permafrost soils across Greenland and tested the hypothesis that these soils produce enough heat to reach a tipping point after which internal heat production can accelerate the decomposition processes. Results show that the impact of climate changes on natural organic soils can be accelerated...

  20. Terrestrial Permafrost Models of Martian Habitats and Inhabitants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilichinsky, D.

    2011-12-01

    The terrestrial permafrost is the only rich depository of viable ancient microorganisms on Earth, and can be used as a bridge to possible Martian life forms and shallow subsurface habitats where the probability of finding life is highest. Since there is a place for water, the requisite condition for life, the analogous models are more or less realistic. If life ever existed on Mars, traces might have been preserved and could be found at depth within permafrost. The age of the terrestrial isolates corresponds to the longevity of the frozen state of the embedding strata, with the oldest known dating back to the late Pliocene in Arctic and late Miocene in Antarctica. Permafrost on Earth and Mars vary in age, from a few million years on Earth to a few billion years on Mars. Such a difference in time scale would have a significant impact on the possibility of preserving life on Mars, which is why the longevity of life forms preserved within terrestrial permafrost can only be an approximate model for Mars. 1. A number of studies indicate that the Antarctic cryosphere began to develop on the Eocene-Oligocene boundary, after the isolation of the continent. Permafrost degradation is only possible if mean annual ground temperature, -28°C now, rise above freezing, i.e., a significant warming to above 25°C is required. There is no evidence of such sharp temperature increase, which indicates that the climate and geological history was favorable to persistence of pre-Pliocene permafrost. These oldest relics (~30Myr) are possibly to be found at high hypsometric levels of ice-free areas (Dry Valleys and nearby mountains). It is desirable to test the layers for the presence of viable cells. The limiting age, if one exists, within this ancient permafrost, where the viable organisms were no longer present, could be established as the limit for life preservation below 0oC. Positive results will extend the known temporal limits of life in permafrost. 2. Even in this case, the age of

  1. The fate of 13C15N labelled glycine in permafrost and surface soil at simulated thaw in mesocosms from high arctic and subarctic ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ravn, Nynne Marie Rand; Elberling, Bo; Michelsen, Anders

    2017-01-01

    Background and aim: Nutrient distribution and carbon fluxes upon spring thaw are compared in mesocosms from high arctic and subarctic ecosystems dominated by Cassiope tetragona or Salix hastata/Salix arctica, in order to evaluate the possibility of plant and microbial utilization of an organic...... compound in thawing permafrost and surface soil. Methods: Double labeled glycine (13C15N) was added to soil columns with vegetation and to permafrost. During thaw conditions ecosystem respiration 13C was measured and 13C and 15N distribution in the ecosystem pools was quantified one day and one month after...... glycine addition. Results: Near-surface soil microbes were more efficient in the uptake of intact glycine immediately upon thaw than plants. After one month plants had gained more 15N whereas microbes seemed to lose 15N originating from glycine. We observed a time lag in glycine degradation upon...

  2. Advancing NOAA NWS Arctic Program Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Timofeyeva-Livezey, M. M.; Horsfall, F. M. C.; Meyers, J. C.; Churma, M.; Thoman, R.

    2016-12-01

    Environmental changes in the Arctic require changes in the way the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) delivers hydrological and meteorological information to prepare the region's societies and indigenous population for emerging challenges. These challenges include changing weather patterns, changes in the timing and extent of sea ice, accelerated soil erosion due to permafrost decline, increasing coastal vulnerably, and changes in the traditional food supply. The decline in Arctic sea ice is opening new opportunities for exploitation of natural resources, commerce, tourism, and military interest. These societal challenges and economic opportunities call for a NOAA integrated approach for delivery of environmental information including climate, water, and weather data, forecasts, and warnings. Presently the NOAA Arctic Task Force provides leadership in programmatic coordination across NOAA line offices. National Weather Service (NWS) Alaska Region and the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) provide the foundational operational hydro-meteorological products and services in the Arctic. Starting in 2016, NOAA's NWS will work toward improving its role in programmatic coordination and development through assembling an NWS Arctic Task Team. The team will foster ties in the Arctic between the 11 NWS national service programs in climate, water, and weather information, as well as between Arctic programs in NWS and other NOAA line offices and external partners. One of the team outcomes is improving decision support tools for the Arctic. The Local Climate Analysis Tool (LCAT) currently has more than 1100 registered users, including NOAA staff and technical partners. The tool has been available online since 2013 (http://nws.weather.gov/lcat/ ). The tool links trusted, recommended NOAA data and analytical capabilities to assess impacts of climate variability and climate change at local levels. A new capability currently being developed will

  3. Permafrost collapse shifts alpine tundra to a carbon source but reduces N2O and CH4 release on the northern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mu, C.

    2017-12-01

    Important unknowns remain about how abrupt permafrost collapse (thermokarst) affects carbon balance and greenhouse gas flux, limiting our ability to predict the magnitude and timing of the permafrost carbon feedback. We measured monthly, growing-season fluxes of CO2, CH4, and N2O at a large thermokarst feature in alpine tundra on the northern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP). Thermokarst formation disrupted plant growth and soil hydrology, shifting the ecosystem from a growing-season carbon sink to a weak source, but decreasing feature-level CH4 and N2O flux. Temperature-corrected ecosystem respiration from decomposing permafrost soil was 2.7 to 9.5-fold higher than in similar features from Arctic and Boreal regions, suggesting that warmer and dryer conditions on the northern QTP could accelerate carbon decomposition following permafrost collapse. N2O flux was similar to the highest values reported for Arctic ecosystems, and was 60% higher from exposed mineral soil on the feature floor, confirming Arctic observations of coupled nitrification and denitrification in collapsed soils. Q10 values for respiration were typically over 4, suggesting high temperature sensitivity of thawed carbon. Taken together, these results suggest that QTP permafrost carbon in alpine tundra is highly vulnerable to mineralization following thaw, and that N2O production could be an important non-carbon permafrost climate feedback.

  4. Biomass offsets little or none of permafrost carbon release from soils, streams, and wildfire: an expert assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benjamin W. Abbott,; Jeremy B. Jones,; Edward A.G. Schuur,; F.S. Chapin, III; Bowden, William B.; M. Syndonia Bret-Harte,; Howard E. Epstein,; Michael D. Flannigan,; Tamara K. Harms,; Teresa N. Hollingsworth,; Mack, Michelle C.; McGuire, A. David; Susan M. Natali,; Adrian V. Rocha,; Tank, Suzanne E.; Merrit R. Turetsky,; Jorien E. Vonk,; Wickland, Kimberly P.; Aiken, George R.

    2016-01-01

    As the permafrost region warms, its large organic carbon pool will be increasingly vulnerable to decomposition, combustion, and hydrologic export. Models predict that some portion of this release will be offset by increased production of Arctic and boreal biomass; however, the lack of robust estimates of net carbon balance increases the risk of further overshooting international emissions targets. Precise empirical or model-based assessments of the critical factors driving carbon balance are unlikely in the near future, so to address this gap, we present estimates from 98 permafrost-region experts of the response of biomass, wildfire, and hydrologic carbon flux to climate change. Results suggest that contrary to model projections, total permafrost-region biomass could decrease due to water stress and disturbance, factors that are not adequately incorporated in current models. Assessments indicate that end-of-the-century organic carbon release from Arctic rivers and collapsing coastlines could increase by 75% while carbon loss via burning could increase four-fold. Experts identified water balance, shifts in vegetation community, and permafrost degradation as the key sources of uncertainty in predicting future system response. In combination with previous findings, results suggest the permafrost region will become a carbon source to the atmosphere by 2100 regardless of warming scenario but that 65%–85% of permafrost carbon release can still be avoided if human emissions are actively reduced.

  5. InSAR detects increase in surface subsidence caused by an Arctic tundra fire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Lin; Jafarov, Elchin E.; Schaefer, Kevin M.; Jones, Benjamin M.; Zebker, Howard A.; Williams, Christopher A.; Rogan, John; Zhang, Tingjun

    2014-01-01

    Wildfire is a major disturbance in the Arctic tundra and boreal forests, having a significant impact on soil hydrology, carbon cycling, and permafrost dynamics. This study explores the use of the microwave Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) technique to map and quantify ground surface subsidence caused by the Anaktuvuk River fire on the North Slope of Alaska. We detected an increase of up to 8 cm of thaw-season ground subsidence after the fire, which is due to a combination of thickened active layer and permafrost thaw subsidence. Our results illustrate the effectiveness and potential of using InSAR to quantify fire impacts on the Arctic tundra, especially in regions underlain by ice-rich permafrost. Our study also suggests that surface subsidence is a more comprehensive indicator of fire impacts on ice-rich permafrost terrain than changes in active layer thickness alone.

  6. Abundant Pre-Industrial Carbon Emitted by Arctic Inland Waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean, J.; Van der Velde, Y.; Billett, M. F.; Dinsmore, K. J.; Garnett, M.; Meisel, O.; Dolman, A. J.

    2017-12-01

    Mobilization of carbon (C) derived from soil/sediment organic matter into inland freshwaters constitutes a substantial, but poorly-constrained, component of the global C cycle. Radiocarbon (14C) analysis has proven a valuable tool in tracing the sources and fate of mobilized C, but aquatic 14C studies in permafrost regions rarely detect 'old' C (assimilated from the atmosphere into plants and soil prior to AD1950). This is partly due to a focus on dissolved organic C (DOC) in many Arctic inland water 14C studies to date, now known to be an insensitive method for detecting old C. Crucially, the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) derived from old permafrost C by aquatic systems contributes to a positive climate feedback loop: the 'Permafrost Climate Feedback' (PCF). Here, we measure directly the 14C content and quantify fluxes of aquatic CO2 and CH4, alongside DOC and particulate-OC, in freshwater systems of the Canadian and Siberian Arctic tundra - the first such concurrent 14C measurements from freshwater systems. Aquatic C increased in age significantly over the snow-free season as the active layer deepened (Figure 1). However, 'modern' C (assimilated since AD1950) still dominated aquatic CO2 and CH4 emissions, except where deep ancient (6,000 to 50,000 yBP) C was exposed. Age distribution modeling of these bulk 14C samples indicated that 'pre-industrial' C (assimilated prior to AD1750) comprised 15-30% of aquatic GHGs (Figure 1). Further, we estimate that 15-20% of total CO2 and CH4 emissions were derived from old C previously locked up in permafrost soils and thus contributed to the PCF. These results demonstrate the previously unknown presence of aged C within Arctic headwater GHG emissions that could be equivalent to 7.5-28.2 Tg C yr-1 across the pan-Arctic.

  7. The long-term fate of permafrost peatlands under rapid climate warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swindles, Graeme T.; Morris, Paul J.; Mullan, Donal; Watson, Elizabeth J.; Turner, T. Edward; Roland, Thomas P.; Amesbury, Matthew J.; Kokfelt, Ulla; Schoning, Kristian; Pratte, Steve; Gallego-Sala, Angela; Charman, Dan J.; Sanderson, Nicole; Garneau, Michelle; Carrivick, Jonathan L.; Woulds, Clare; Holden, Joseph; Parry, Lauren; Galloway, Jennifer M.

    2015-01-01

    Permafrost peatlands contain globally important amounts of soil organic carbon, owing to cold conditions which suppress anaerobic decomposition. However, climate warming and permafrost thaw threaten the stability of this carbon store. The ultimate fate of permafrost peatlands and their carbon stores is unclear because of complex feedbacks between peat accumulation, hydrology and vegetation. Field monitoring campaigns only span the last few decades and therefore provide an incomplete picture of permafrost peatland response to recent rapid warming. Here we use a high-resolution palaeoecological approach to understand the longer-term response of peatlands in contrasting states of permafrost degradation to recent rapid warming. At all sites we identify a drying trend until the late-twentieth century; however, two sites subsequently experienced a rapid shift to wetter conditions as permafrost thawed in response to climatic warming, culminating in collapse of the peat domes. Commonalities between study sites lead us to propose a five-phase model for permafrost peatland response to climatic warming. This model suggests a shared ecohydrological trajectory towards a common end point: inundated Arctic fen. Although carbon accumulation is rapid in such sites, saturated soil conditions are likely to cause elevated methane emissions that have implications for climate-feedback mechanisms. PMID:26647837

  8. The impacts of recent permafrost thaw on land–atmosphere greenhouse gas exchange

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hayes, Daniel J; Yuan, Fengming; Wullschleger, Stan D; Kicklighter, David W; Melillo, Jerry M; McGuire, A David; Chen, Min; Zhuang, Qianlai

    2014-01-01

    Permafrost thaw and the subsequent mobilization of carbon (C) stored in previously frozen soil organic matter (SOM) have the potential to be a strong positive feedback to climate. As the northern permafrost region experiences as much as a doubling of the rate of warming as the rest of the Earth, the vast amount of C in permafrost soils is vulnerable to thaw, decomposition and release as atmospheric greenhouse gases. Diagnostic and predictive estimates of high-latitude terrestrial C fluxes vary widely among different models depending on how dynamics in permafrost, and the seasonally thawed ‘active layer’ above it, are represented. Here, we employ a process-based model simulation experiment to assess the net effect of active layer dynamics on this ‘permafrost carbon feedback’ in recent decades, from 1970 to 2006, over the circumpolar domain of continuous and discontinuous permafrost. Over this time period, the model estimates a mean increase of 6.8 cm in active layer thickness across the domain, which exposes a total of 11.6 Pg C of thawed SOM to decomposition. According to our simulation experiment, mobilization of this previously frozen C results in an estimated cumulative net source of 3.7 Pg C to the atmosphere since 1970 directly tied to active layer dynamics. Enhanced decomposition from the newly exposed SOM accounts for the release of both CO 2 (4.0 Pg C) and CH 4 (0.03 Pg C), but is partially compensated by CO 2 uptake (0.3 Pg C) associated with enhanced net primary production of vegetation. This estimated net C transfer to the atmosphere from permafrost thaw represents a significant factor in the overall ecosystem carbon budget of the Pan-Arctic, and a non-trivial additional contribution on top of the combined fossil fuel emissions from the eight Arctic nations over this time period. (paper)

  9. Evaluating permafrost thaw vulnerabilities and hydrologic impacts in boreal Alaska (USA) watersheds using field data and cryohydrogeologic modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walvoord, M. A.; Voss, C.; Ebel, B. A.; Minsley, B. J.

    2017-12-01

    Permafrost environments undergo changes in hydraulic, thermal, chemical, and mechanical subsurface properties upon thaw. These property changes must be considered in addition to alterations in hydrologic, thermal, and topographic boundary conditions when evaluating shifts in the movement and storage of water in arctic and sub-arctic boreal regions. Advances have been made in the last several years with respect to multiscale geophysical characterization of the subsurface and coupled fluid and energy transport modeling of permafrost systems. Ongoing efforts are presented that integrate field data with cryohydrogeologic modeling to better understand and anticipate changes in subsurface water resources, fluxes, and flowpaths caused by climate warming and permafrost thawing. Analyses are based on field data from several sites in interior Alaska (USA) that span a broad north-south transition from continuous to discontinuous permafrost. These data include soil hydraulic and thermal properties and shallow permafrost distribution. The data guide coupled fluid and energy flow simulations that incorporate porewater liquid/ice phase change and the accompanying modifications in hydraulic and thermal subsurface properties. Simulations are designed to assess conditions conducive to active layer thickening and talik development, both of which are expected to affect groundwater storage and flow. Model results provide a framework for identifying factors that control the rates of permafrost thaw and associated hydrologic responses, which in turn influence the fate and transport of carbon.

  10. Coupled Northern Hemisphere permafrost-ice-sheet evolution over the last glacial cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willeit, M.; Ganopolski, A.

    2015-09-01

    Permafrost influences a number of processes which are relevant for local and global climate. For example, it is well known that permafrost plays an important role in global carbon and methane cycles. Less is known about the interaction between permafrost and ice sheets. In this study a permafrost module is included in the Earth system model CLIMBER-2, and the coupled Northern Hemisphere (NH) permafrost-ice-sheet evolution over the last glacial cycle is explored. The model performs generally well at reproducing present-day permafrost extent and thickness. Modeled permafrost thickness is sensitive to the values of ground porosity, thermal conductivity and geothermal heat flux. Permafrost extent at the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) agrees well with reconstructions and previous modeling estimates. Present-day permafrost thickness is far from equilibrium over deep permafrost regions. Over central Siberia and the Arctic Archipelago permafrost is presently up to 200-500 m thicker than it would be at equilibrium. In these areas, present-day permafrost depth strongly depends on the past climate history and simulations indicate that deep permafrost has a memory of surface temperature variations going back to at least 800 ka. Over the last glacial cycle permafrost has a relatively modest impact on simulated NH ice sheet volume except at LGM, when including permafrost increases ice volume by about 15 m sea level equivalent in our model. This is explained by a delayed melting of the ice base from below by the geothermal heat flux when the ice sheet sits on a porous sediment layer and permafrost has to be melted first. Permafrost affects ice sheet dynamics only when ice extends over areas covered by thick sediments, which is the case at LGM.

  11. A New Wave of Permafrost Warming in the Alaskan Interior?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romanovsky, V. E.; Nicolsky, D.; Cable, W.; Kholodov, A. L.; Panda, S. K.

    2017-12-01

    The impact of climate warming on permafrost and the potential of climate feedbacks resulting from permafrost thawing have recently received a great deal of attention. Ground temperatures are a primary indicator of permafrost stability. Many of the research sites in our permafrost network are located along the North American Arctic Permafrost-Ecological Transect that spans all permafrost zones in Alaska. Most of the sites in Alaska show substantial warming of permafrost since the 1980s. The magnitude of warming has varied with location, but was typically from 0.5 to 3°C. However, this warming was not linear in time and not spatially uniform. In some regions this warming even may be reversed and a slight recent cooling of permafrost has been observed recently at some locations. The Interior of Alaska is one of such regions where a slight permafrost cooling was observed starting in the late 1990s that has continued through the 2000s and in the beginning of the 2010s. The cooling has followed the substantial increase in permafrost temperatures documented for the Interior during the 1980s and 1990s. Permafrost temperatures at 15 m depth increased here by 0.3 to 0.6°C between 1983 and 1996. In most locations they reached their maximum in the second half of the 1990s. Since then, the permafrost temperatures started to decrease slowly and by 2013 this decrease at some locations was as much as 0.3°C at 15 m depth. There are some indications that the warming trend in the Alaskan Interior permafrost resumed during the last four years. By 2016, new record highs for the entire period of measurements of permafrost temperatures at 15 m depth were recorded at several locations. The latest observed permafrost warming in the Interior was combined with higher than normal summer precipitations. This combination has triggered near-surface permafrost degradation in many locations with adverse consequences for the ground surface stability affecting ecosystems and infrastructure. In

  12. Temperature response of permafrost soil carbon is attenuated by mineral protection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gentsch, Norman; Wild, Birgit; Mikutta, Robert; Čapek, Petr; Diáková, Katka; Schrumpf, Marion; Turner, Stephanie; Minnich, Cynthia; Schaarschmidt, Frank; Shibistova, Olga; Schnecker, Jörg; Urich, Tim; Gittel, Antje; Šantrůčková, Hana; Bárta, Jiři; Lashchinskiy, Nikolay; Fuß, Roland; Richter, Andreas; Guggenberger, Georg

    2018-05-18

    Climate change in Arctic ecosystems fosters permafrost thaw and makes massive amounts of ancient soil organic carbon (OC) available to microbial breakdown. However, fractions of the organic matter (OM) may be protected from rapid decomposition by their association with minerals. Little is known about the effects of mineral-organic associations (MOA) on the microbial accessibility of OM in permafrost soils and it is not clear which factors control its temperature sensitivity. In order to investigate if and how permafrost soil OC turnover is affected by mineral controls, the heavy fraction (HF) representing mostly MOA was obtained by density fractionation from 27 permafrost soil profiles of the Siberian Arctic. In parallel laboratory incubations, the unfractionated soils (bulk) and their HF were comparatively incubated for 175 days at 5 and 15°C. The HF was equivalent to 70 ± 9% of the bulk CO 2 respiration as compared to a share of 63 ± 1% of bulk OC that was stored in the HF. Significant reduction of OC mineralization was found in all treatments with increasing OC content of the HF (HF-OC), clay-size minerals and Fe or Al oxyhydroxides. Temperature sensitivity (Q10) decreased with increasing soil depth from 2.4 to 1.4 in the bulk soil and from 2.9 to 1.5 in the HF. A concurrent increase in the metal-to-HF-OC ratios with soil depth suggests a stronger bonding of OM to minerals in the subsoil. There, the younger 14 C signature in CO 2 than that of the OC indicates a preferential decomposition of the more recent OM and the existence of a MOA fraction with limited access of OM to decomposers. These results indicate strong mineral controls on the decomposability of OM after permafrost thaw and on its temperature sensitivity. Thus, we here provide evidence that OM temperature sensitivity can be attenuated by MOA in permafrost soils. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Greenhouse gas emissions from diverse Arctic Alaskan lakes are dominated by young carbon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elder, Clayton D.; Xu, Xiaomei; Walker, Jennifer; Schnell, Jordan L.; Hinkel, Kenneth M.; Townsend-Small, Amy; Arp, Christopher D.; Pohlman, John; Gaglioti, Benjamin V.; Czimzik, Claudia I.

    2018-01-01

    Climate-sensitive Arctic lakes have been identified as conduits for ancient permafrost-carbon (C) emissions and as such accelerate warming. However, the environmental factors that control emission pathways and their sources are unclear; this complicates upscaling, forecasting and climate-impact-assessment efforts. Here we show that current whole-lake CH4 and CO2 emissions from widespread lakes in Arctic Alaska primarily originate from organic matter fixed within the past 3–4 millennia (modern to 3,300 ± 70 years before the present), and not from Pleistocene permafrost C. Furthermore, almost 100% of the annual diffusive C flux is emitted as CO2. Although the lakes mostly processed younger C (89 ± 3% of total C emissions), minor contributions from ancient C sources were two times greater in fine-textured versus coarse-textured Pleistocene sediments, which emphasizes the importance of the underlying geological substrate in current and future emissions. This spatially extensive survey considered the environmental and temporal variability necessary to monitor and forecast the fate of ancient permafrost C as Arctic warming progresses.

  14. Greenhouse gas emissions from diverse Arctic Alaskan lakes are dominated by young carbon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elder, Clayton D.; Xu, Xiaomei; Walker, Jennifer; Schnell, Jordan L.; Hinkel, Kenneth M.; Townsend-Small, Amy; Arp, Christopher D.; Pohlman, John W.; Gaglioti, Benjamin V.; Czimczik, Claudia I.

    2018-01-01

    Climate-sensitive Arctic lakes have been identified as conduits for ancient permafrost-carbon (C) emissions and as such accelerate warming. However, the environmental factors that control emission pathways and their sources are unclear; this complicates upscaling, forecasting and climate-impact-assessment efforts. Here we show that current whole-lake CH4 and CO2 emissions from widespread lakes in Arctic Alaska primarily originate from organic matter fixed within the past 3-4 millennia (modern to 3,300 ± 70 years before the present), and not from Pleistocene permafrost C. Furthermore, almost 100% of the annual diffusive C flux is emitted as CO2. Although the lakes mostly processed younger C (89 ± 3% of total C emissions), minor contributions from ancient C sources were two times greater in fine-textured versus coarse-textured Pleistocene sediments, which emphasizes the importance of the underlying geological substrate in current and future emissions. This spatially extensive survey considered the environmental and temporal variability necessary to monitor and forecast the fate of ancient permafrost C as Arctic warming progresses.

  15. Impact of dynamic vegetation phenology on the simulated pan-Arctic land surface state

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teufel, Bernardo; Sushama, Laxmi; Arora, Vivek K.; Verseghy, Diana

    2018-03-01

    The pan-Arctic land surface is undergoing rapid changes in a warming climate, with near-surface permafrost projected to degrade significantly during the twenty-first century. Vegetation-related feedbacks have the potential to influence the rate of degradation of permafrost. In this study, the impact of dynamic phenology on the pan-Arctic land surface state, particularly near-surface permafrost, for the 1961-2100 period, is assessed by comparing two simulations of the Canadian Land Surface Scheme (CLASS)—one with dynamic phenology, modelled using the Canadian Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (CTEM), and the other with prescribed phenology. These simulations are forced by atmospheric data from a transient climate change simulation of the 5th generation Canadian Regional Climate Model (CRCM5) for the Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 (RCP8.5). Comparison of the CLASS coupled to CTEM simulation to available observational estimates of plant area index, spatial distribution of permafrost and active layer thickness suggests that the model captures reasonably well the overall distribution of vegetation and permafrost. It is shown that the most important impact of dynamic phenology on the land surface occurs through albedo and it is demonstrated for the first time that vegetation control on albedo during late spring and early summer has the highest potential to impact the degradation of permafrost. While both simulations show extensive near-surface permafrost degradation by the end of the twenty-first century, the strong projected response of vegetation to climate warming and increasing CO2 concentrations in the coupled simulation results in accelerated permafrost degradation in the northernmost continuous permafrost regions.

  16. Amount and timing of permafrost carbon release in response to climate warming

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schaefer, Kevin; Zhang, Tingjun; Barrett, Andrew P. (National Snow and Ice Data Center, Cooperative Inst. for Research in Environmental Sciences, Univ. of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder (United States)), e-mail: kevin.schaefer@nsidc.org; Bruhwiler, Lori (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder (United States))

    2011-04-15

    The thaw and release of carbon currently frozen in permafrost will increase atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentrations and amplify surface warming to initiate a positive permafrost carbon feedback (PCF) on climate.We use surface weather from three global climate models based on the moderate warming, A1B Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change emissions scenario and the SiBCASA land surface model to estimate the strength and timing of the PCF and associated uncertainty. By 2200, we predict a 29-59% decrease in permafrost area and a 53-97 cm increase in active layer thickness. By 2200, the PCF strength in terms of cumulative permafrost carbon flux to the atmosphere is 190 +- 64 Gt C. This estimate may be low because it does not account for amplified surface warming due to the PCF itself and excludes some discontinuous permafrost regions where SiBCASA did not simulate permafrost. We predict that the PCF will change the arctic from a carbon sink to a source after the mid-2020s and is strong enough to cancel 42-88% of the total global land sink. The thaw and decay of permafrost carbon is irreversible and accounting for the PCF will require larger reductions in fossil fuel emissions to reach a target atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentration

  17. The Arctic Coastal Erosion Problem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Frederick, Jennifer M. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Thomas, Matthew Anthony [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Bull, Diana L. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Jones, Craig A. [Integral Consulting Inc., San Francisco, CA (United States); Roberts, Jesse D. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    2016-09-01

    Permafrost-dominated coastlines in the Arctic are rapidly disappearing. Arctic coastal erosion rates in the United States have doubled since the middle of the twentieth century and appear to be accelerating. Positive erosion trends have been observed for highly-variable geomorphic conditions across the entire Arctic, suggesting a major (human-timescale) shift in coastal landscape evolution. Unfortunately, irreversible coastal land loss in this region poses a threat to native, industrial, scientific, and military communities. The Arctic coastline is vast, spanning more than 100,000 km across eight nations, ten percent of which is overseen by the United States. Much of area is inaccessible by all-season roads. People and infrastructure, therefore, are commonly located near the coast. The impact of the Arctic coastal erosion problem is widespread. Homes are being lost. Residents are being dispersed and their villages relocated. Shoreline fuel storage and delivery systems are at greater risk. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) operate research facilities along some of the most rapidly eroding sections of coast in the world. The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) is struggling to fortify coastal radar sites, operated to ensure national sovereignty in the air, against the erosion problem. Rapid alterations to the Arctic coastline are facilitated by oceanographic and geomorphic perturbations associated with climate change. Sea ice extent is declining, sea level is rising, sea water temperature is increasing, and permafrost state is changing. The polar orientation of the Arctic exacerbates the magnitude and rate of the environmental forcings that facilitate coastal land area loss. The fundamental mechanics of these processes are understood; their non-linear combination poses an extreme hazard. Tools to accurately predict Arctic coastal erosion do not exist. To obtain an accurate predictive model, a coupling of the influences of

  18. Increasing Alkalinity Export from Large Russian Arctic Rivers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drake, T.; Zhulidov, A. V.; Gurtovaya, T. Y.; Spencer, R. G.

    2017-12-01

    Riverine carbonate alkalinity (HCO3- and CO32-) sourced from chemical weathering of minerals on land represents a significant sink for atmospheric CO2 over geologic timescales. The flux of alkalinity from rivers in the Arctic depends on precipitation, permafrost extent and thaw, groundwater flow paths, and surface vegetation, all of which are changing under a warming climate. Here we show that over the past four decades, the export of alkalinity from the Ob' and Yenisei Rivers has more than doubled. The increase is likely due to a combination of increasing precipitation and permafrost thaw in the watersheds, which lengthens hydrologic flow paths and increases residence time in soils. These trends have broad implications for the rate of carbon sequestration on land and the delivery of buffering capacity to the Arctic Ocean.

  19. SEARCH: Study of Environmental Arctic Change—A System-scale, Cross-disciplinary Arctic Research Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiggins, H. V.; Eicken, H.; Fox, S. E.

    2012-12-01

    permafrost, land ice and sea level, and societal and policy implications. Together, the goals will provide significant insight into arctic system change as a whole. The SEARCH SSC will release the goals in their revised form and then work closely with agency representatives to implement the goals through research opportunities and community activities. SEARCH is guided by a Science Steering Committee and several panels and working groups, with broad representation of the research community. SEARCH is sponsored by eight U.S. agencies, including: the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Department of Defense (DOD), the Department of Energy (DOE), the Department of the Interior (DOI), the Smithsonian Institution, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The U.S. Arctic Research Commission participates as an agency observer. For further information, please visit the website: http://www.arcus.org/search or contact: Helen V. Wiggins: helen@arcus.org, SEARCH Project Office, Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS).

  20. Live from the Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warnick, W. K.; Haines-Stiles, G.; Warburton, J.; Sunwood, K.

    2003-12-01

    For reasons of geography and geophysics, the poles of our planet, the Arctic and Antarctica, are places where climate change appears first: they are global canaries in the mine shaft. But while Antarctica (its penguins and ozone hole, for example) has been relatively well-documented in recent books, TV programs and journalism, the far North has received somewhat less attention. This project builds on and advances what has been done to date to share the people, places, and stories of the North with all Americans through multiple media, over several years. In a collaborative project between the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (ARCUS) and PASSPORT TO KNOWLEDGE, Live from the Arctic will bring the Arctic environment to the public through a series of primetime broadcasts, live and taped programming, interactive virtual field trips, and webcasts. The five-year project will culminate during the 2007-2008 International Polar Year (IPY). Live from the Arctic will: A. Promote global understanding about the value and world -wide significance of the Arctic, B. Bring cutting-edge research to both non-formal and formal education communities, C. Provide opportunities for collaboration between arctic scientists, arctic communities, and the general public. Content will focus on the following four themes. 1. Pan-Arctic Changes and Impacts on Land (i.e. snow cover; permafrost; glaciers; hydrology; species composition, distribution, and abundance; subsistence harvesting) 2. Pan-Arctic Changes and Impacts in the Sea (i.e. salinity, temperature, currents, nutrients, sea ice, marine ecosystems (including people, marine mammals and fisheries) 3. Pan-Arctic Changes and Impacts in the Atmosphere (i.e. precipitation and evaporation; effects on humans and their communities) 4. Global Perspectives (i.e. effects on humans and communities, impacts to rest of the world) In The Earth is Faster Now, a recent collection of comments by members of indigenous arctic peoples, arctic

  1. Impacts of the active layer on runoff in an upland permafrost basin, northern Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Tanguang; Zhang, Tingjun; Guo, Hong; Hu, Yuantao; Shang, Jianguo; Zhang, Yulan

    2018-01-01

    The paucity of studies on permafrost runoff generation processes, especially in mountain permafrost, constrains the understanding of permafrost hydrology and prediction of hydrological responses to permafrost degradation. This study investigated runoff generation processes, in addition to the contribution of summer thaw depth, soil temperature, soil moisture, and precipitation to streamflow in a small upland permafrost basin in the northern Tibetan Plateau. Results indicated that the thawing period and the duration of the zero-curtain were longer in permafrost of the northern Tibetan Plateau than in the Arctic. Limited snowmelt delayed the initiation of surface runoff in the peat permafrost in the study area. The runoff displayed intermittent generation, with the duration of most runoff events lasting less than 24 h. Precipitation without runoff generation was generally correlated with lower soil moisture conditions. Combined analysis suggested runoff generation in this region was controlled by soil temperature, thaw depth, precipitation frequency and amount, and antecedent soil moisture. This study serves as an important baseline to evaluate future environmental changes on the Tibetan Plateau.

  2. Modeling the Space-Time Destiny of Pan-Arctic Permafrost DOC in a Global Land Surface Model: Feedback Implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowring, S.; Lauerwald, R.; Guenet, B.; Zhu, D.; Ciais, P.

    2017-12-01

    Most global climate models do not represent the unique permafrost soil environment and its respective processes. This significantly contributes to uncertainty in estimating their responses, and that of the planet at large, to warming. Here, the production, transport and atmospheric release of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) from high-latitude permafrost soils into inland waters and the ocean is explicitly represented for the first time in the land surface component (ORCHIDEE-MICT) of a CMIP6 global climate model (IPSL). This work merges two models that are able to mechanistically simulate complex processes for 1) snow, ice and soil phenomena in high latitude environments, and 2) DOC production and lateral transport through soils and the river network, respectively, at 0.5° to 2° resolution. The resulting model is subjected to a wide range of input forcing data, parameter testing and contentious feedback phenomena, including microbial heat generation as the active layer deepens. We present results for the present and future Pan-Arctic and Eurasia, with a focus on the Lena and Mackenzie River basins, and show that soil DOC concentrations, their riverine transport and atmospheric evasion are reasonably well represented as compared to observed stocks, fluxes and seasonality. We show that most basins exhibit large increases in DOC transport and riverine CO2 evasion across the suite of RCP scenarios to 2100. We also show that model output is strongly influenced by choice of input forcing data. The riverine component of what is known as the `boundless carbon cycle' is little-recognized in global climate modeling. Hydrological mobilization to the river network results either in sedimentary settling or atmospheric `evasion', presently amounting to 0.5-1.8 PgC yr-1. Our work aims at filling in these knowledge gaps, and the response of these DOC-related processes to thermal forcing. Potential feedbacks owing to such a response are of particular relevance, given the magnitude

  3. The transcriptional response of microbial communities in thawing Alaskan permafrost soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coolen, Marco J. L.; Orsi, William D.

    2015-01-01

    Thawing of permafrost soils is expected to stimulate microbial decomposition and respiration of sequestered carbon. This could, in turn, increase atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gasses, such as carbon dioxide and methane, and create a positive feedback to climate warming. Recent metagenomic studies suggest that permafrost has a large metabolic potential for carbon processing, including pathways for fermentation and methanogenesis. Here, we performed a pilot study using ultrahigh throughput Illumina HiSeq sequencing of reverse transcribed messenger RNA to obtain a detailed overview of active metabolic pathways and responsible organisms in up to 70 cm deep permafrost soils at a moist acidic tundra location in Arctic Alaska. The transcriptional response of the permafrost microbial community was compared before and after 11 days of thaw. In general, the transcriptional profile under frozen conditions suggests a dominance of stress responses, survival strategies, and maintenance processes, whereas upon thaw a rapid enzymatic response to decomposing soil organic matter (SOM) was observed. Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, ascomycete fungi, and methanogens were responsible for largest transcriptional response upon thaw. Transcripts indicative of heterotrophic methanogenic pathways utilizing acetate, methanol, and methylamine were found predominantly in the permafrost table after thaw. Furthermore, transcripts involved in acetogenesis were expressed exclusively after thaw suggesting that acetogenic bacteria are a potential source of acetate for acetoclastic methanogenesis in freshly thawed permafrost. Metatranscriptomics is shown here to be a useful approach for inferring the activity of permafrost microbes that has potential to improve our understanding of permafrost SOM bioavailability and biogeochemical mechanisms contributing to greenhouse gas emissions as a result of permafrost thaw. PMID:25852660

  4. The transcriptional response of microbial communities in thawing Alaskan permafrost soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M J L Coolen

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Thawing of permafrost soils is expected to stimulate microbial decomposition and respiration of sequestered carbon. This could, in turn, increase atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane, and create a positive feedback to climate warming. Recent metagenomic studies suggest that permafrost has a large metabolic potential for carbon processing, including pathways for fermentation and methanogenesis. Here, we performed a pilot study using ultrahigh throughput Illumina HiSeq sequencing of reverse transcribed messenger RNA to obtain a detailed overview of active metabolic pathways and responsible organisms in up to 70 cm deep permafrost soils at a moist acidic tundra location in Arctic Alaska. The transcriptional response of the permafrost microbial community was compared before and after eleven days of thaw. In general, the transcriptional profile under frozen conditions suggests a dominance of stress responses, survival strategies, and maintenance processes, whereas upon thaw a rapid enzymatic response to decomposing soil organic matter (SOM was observed. Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, ascomycete fungi, and methanogens were responsible for largest transcriptional response upon thaw. Transcripts indicative of heterotrophic methanogenic pathways utilizing acetate, methanol, and methylamine were found predominantly in the permafrost table after thaw. Furthermore, transcripts involved in acetogenesis were expressed exclusively after thaw suggesting that acetogenic bacteria are a potential source of acetate for acetoclastic methanogenesis in freshly thawed permafrost. Metatranscriptomics is shown here to be a useful approach for inferring the activity of permafrost microbes that has potential to improve our understanding of permafrost SOM bioavailability and biogeochemical mechanisms contributing to greenhouse gas emissions as a result of permafrost thaw.

  5. METHANE HYDRATE PRODUCTION FROM ALASKAN PERMAFROST

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thomas E. Williams; Keith Millheim; Bill Liddell

    2005-03-01

    Natural-gas hydrates have been encountered beneath the permafrost and considered a nuisance by the oil and gas industry for years. Oil-field engineers working in Russia, Canada and the USA have documented numerous drilling problems, including kicks and uncontrolled gas releases, in Arctic regions. Information has been generated in laboratory studies pertaining to the extent, volume, chemistry and phase behavior of gas hydrates. Scientists studying hydrates agree that the potential is great--on the North Slope of Alaska alone, it has been estimated at 590 TCF. However, little information has been obtained on physical samples taken from actual rock containing hydrates. This gas-hydrate project is a cost-shared partnership between Maurer Technology, Anadarko Petroleum, Noble Corporation, and the U.S. Department of Energy's Methane Hydrate R&D program. The purpose of the project is to build on previous and ongoing R&D in the area of onshore hydrate deposition to help identify, quantify and predict production potential for hydrates located on the North Slope of Alaska. As part of the project work scope, team members drilled and cored the HOT ICE No. 1 on Anadarko leases beginning in January 2003 and completed in March 2004. Due to scheduling constraints imposed by the Arctic drilling season, operations at the site were suspended between April 21, 2003 and January 30, 2004. An on-site core analysis laboratory was designed, constructed and used for determining physical characteristics of frozen core immediately after it was retrieved from the well. The well was drilled from a new and innovative Anadarko Arctic Platform that has a greatly reduced footprint and environmental impact. Final efforts of the project were to correlate geology, geophysics, logs, and drilling and production data and provide this information to scientists for future hydrate operations. Unfortunately, no gas hydrates were encountered in this well; however, a wealth of information was generated

  6. Dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen release from Holocene permafrost and seasonally frozen soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wickland, K.; Waldrop, M. P.; Koch, J. C.; Jorgenson, T.; Striegl, R. G.

    2017-12-01

    Permafrost (perennially frozen) soils store vast amounts of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) that are vulnerable to mobilization to the atmosphere as greenhouse gases and to terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems as dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and total dissolved nitrogen (TDN) upon thaw. Such releases will affect the biogeochemistry of arctic and boreal regions, yet little is known about active layer (seasonally frozen) and permafrost source variability that determines DOC and TDN mobilization. We quantified DOC and TDN leachate yields from a range of active layer and permafrost soils in Alaska varying in age and C and N content to determine potential release upon thaw. Soil cores from the upper 1 meter were collected in late winter, when soils were frozen, from three locations representing a range in geographic position, landscape setting, permafrost depth, and soil types across interior Alaska. Two 15 cm-thick segments were extracted from each core: a deep active-layer horizon and a shallow permafrost horizon. Soils were thawed and leached for DOC and TDN yields, dissolved organic matter optical properties, and DOC biodegradability; soils were analyzed for C and N content, and radiocarbon content. Soils had wide-ranging C and N content (<1-44% C, <0.1-2.3% N), and varied in radiocarbon age from 450-9200 years before present - thus capturing typical ranges of boreal and arctic soils. Soil DOC and TDN yields increased linearly with soil C and N content, and decreased with increasing radiocarbon age. However, across all sites DOC and TDN yields were significantly greater from permafrost soils (0.387 ± 0.324 mg DOC g-1 soil; 0.271 ± 0.0271 mg N g-1 soil) than from active layer soils (0.210 ± 0.192 mg DOC g-1 soil; 0.00716 ± 0.00569 mg N g-1 soil). DOC biodegradability increased with increasing radiocarbon age, and was statistically similar for active layer and permafrost soils. Our findings suggest that the continuously frozen state of permafrost soils has preserved

  7. Minimum distribution of subsea ice-bearing permafrost on the US Beaufort Sea continental shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brothers, Laura L.; Hart, Patrick E.; Ruppel, Carolyn D.

    2012-01-01

    Starting in Late Pleistocene time (~19 ka), sea level rise inundated coastal zones worldwide. On some parts of the present-day circum-Arctic continental shelf, this led to flooding and thawing of formerly subaerial permafrost and probable dissociation of associated gas hydrates. Relict permafrost has never been systematically mapped along the 700-km-long U.S. Beaufort Sea continental shelf and is often assumed to extend to ~120 m water depth, the approximate amount of sea level rise since the Late Pleistocene. Here, 5,000 km of multichannel seismic (MCS) data acquired between 1977 and 1992 were examined for high-velocity (>2.3 km s−1) refractions consistent with ice-bearing, coarse-grained sediments. Permafrost refractions were identified along sea ice-bearing permafrost, which does not extend seaward of 30 km offshore or beyond the 20 m isobath.

  8. Permafrost and lakes control river isotope composition across a boreal Arctic transect in the Western Siberian lowlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ala-aho, P.; Soulsby, C.; Pokrovsky, O. S.; Kirpotin, S. N.; Karlsson, J.; Serikova, S.; Manasypov, R.; Lim, A.; Krickov, I.; Kolesnichenko, L. G.; Laudon, H.; Tetzlaff, D.

    2018-03-01

    The Western Siberian Lowlands (WSL) store large quantities of organic carbon that will be exposed and mobilized by the thawing of permafrost. The fate of mobilized carbon, however, is not well understood, partly because of inadequate knowledge of hydrological controls in the region which has a vast low-relief surface area, extensive lake and wetland coverage and gradually increasing permafrost influence. We used stable water isotopes to improve our understanding of dominant landscape controls on the hydrology of the WSL. We sampled rivers along a 1700 km South-North transect from permafrost-free to continuous permafrost repeatedly over three years, and derived isotope proxies for catchment hydrological responsiveness and connectivity. We found correlations between the isotope proxies and catchment characteristics, suggesting that lakes and wetlands are intimately connected to rivers, and that permafrost increases the responsiveness of the catchment to rainfall and snowmelt events, reducing catchment mean transit times. Our work provides rare isotope-based field evidence that permafrost and lakes/wetlands influence hydrological pathways across a wide range of spatial scales (10-105 km2) and permafrost coverage (0%-70%). This has important implications, because both permafrost extent and lake/wetland coverage are affected by permafrost thaw in the changing climate. Changes in these hydrological landscape controls are likely to alter carbon export and emission via inland waters, which may be of global significance.

  9. ARCTOX: a pan-Arctic sampling network to track mercury contamination across Arctic marine food webs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fort, Jerome; Helgason, Halfdan; Amelineau, Francoise

    and is still a source of major environmental concerns. In that context, providing a large-scale and comprehensive understanding of the Arctic marine food-web contamination is essential to better apprehend impacts of anthropogenic activities and climate change on the exposure of Arctic species and humans to Hg....... In 2015, an international sampling network (ARCTOX) has been established, allowing the collection seabird samples all around the Arctic. Seabirds are indeed good indicators of Hg contamination of marine food webs at large spatial scale. Gathering researchers from 10 countries, ARCTOX allowed......Arctic marine ecosystems are threatened by new risks of Hg contamination under the combined effects of climate change and human activities. Rapid change of the cryosphere might for instance release large amounts of Hg trapped in sea-ice, permafrost and terrestrial glaciers over the last decades...

  10. Carbon monoxide photoproduction: implications for photoreactivity of Arctic permafrost-derived soil dissolved organic matter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Jun; Xie, Huixiang; Guo, Laodong; Song, Guisheng

    2014-08-19

    Apparent quantum yields of carbon monoxide (CO) photoproduction (AQY(CO)) for permafrost-derived soil dissolved organic matter (SDOM) from the Yukon River Basin and Alaska coast were determined to examine the dependences of AQY(CO) on temperature, ionic strength, pH, and SDOM concentration. SDOM from different locations and soil depths all exhibited similar AQY(CO) spectra irrespective of soil age. AQY(CO) increased by 68% for a 20 °C warming, decreased by 25% from ionic strength 0 to 0.7 mol L(-1), and dropped by 25-38% from pH 4 to 8. These effects combined together could reduce AQY(CO) by up to 72% when SDOM transits from terrestrial environemnts to open-ocean conditions during summer in the Arctic. A Michaelis-Menten kinetics characterized the influence of SDOM dilution on AQY(CO) with a very low substrate half-saturation concentration. Generalized global-scale relationships between AQY(CO) and salinity and absorbance demostrate that the CO-based photoreactivity of ancient permaforst SDOM is comparable to that of modern riverine DOM and that the effects of the physicochemical variables revealed here alone could account for the seaward decline of AQY(CO) observed in diverse estuarine and coastal water bodies.

  11. The Impacts of Thawing Permafrost and Climate Change on USAF Infrastructure Within Northern Tier Bases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graboski, A. J.

    2016-12-01

    The Department of Defense (DoD) is planning over $600M in military construction on Eielson Air Force Base (AFB) within the next three fiscal years. Although many studies have been conducted on permafrost and climate change, the future of our climate as well as any impacts on arctic infrastructure, remains unclear. This research focused on future climate predictions to determine likely scenarios for the United States Air Force's Strategic Planners to consider. This research also looked at various construction methods being used by industry to glean best practices to incorporate into future construction in order to determine cost factors to consider when permafrost soils may be encountered. The most recent 2013 International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report predicts a 2.2ºC to 7.8ºC temperature rise in Arctic regions by the end of the 21st Century in the Representative Concentration Pathways, (RCP4.5) emissions scenario. A regression model was created using archived surface observations from 1944 to 2016. Initial analysis using regression/forecast techniques show a 1.17ºC temperature increase in the Arctic by the end of the 21st Century. Historical DoD construction data was then used to determine an appropriate cost factor. Applying statistical tests to the adjusted climate predictions supports continued usage of current DoD cost factors of 2.13 at Eielson and 2.97 at Thule AFBs as they should be sufficient when planning future construction projects in permafrost rich areas. These cost factors should allow planners the necessary funds to plan foundation mitigation techniques and prevent further degradation of permafrost soils around airbase infrastructure. This current research focused on Central Alaska while further research is recommended on the Alaskan North Slope and Greenland to determine climate change impacts on critical DoD infrastructure.

  12. Historical and Possible Future Changes in Permafrost and Active Layer Thickness in Alaska: Implications to Landscape Changes and Permafrost Carbon Pool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marchenko, S. S.; Helene, G.; Euskirchen, E. S.; Breen, A. L.; McGuire, D.; Rupp, S. T.; Romanovsky, V. E.; Walsh, J. E.

    2017-12-01

    The Soil Temperature and Active Layer Thickness (ALT) Gridded Data was developed to quantify the nature and rate of permafrost degradation and its impact on ecosystems, infrastructure, CO2 and CH4 fluxes and net C storage following permafrost thaw across Alaska. To develop this database, we used the process-based permafrost dynamics model GIPL2 developed in the Geophysical Institute Permafrost Lab, UAF and which is the permafrost module of the Integrated Ecosystem Model (IEM) for Alaska and Northwest Canada. The climate forcing data for simulations were developed by the Scenarios Network for Alaska and Arctic Planning (SNAP, http://www.snap.uaf.edu/). These data are based on the historical CRU3.1 data set for the retrospective analysis period (1901-2009) and the five model averaged data were derived from the five CMIP5/AR5 IPCC Global Circulation Models that performed the best in Alaska and other northern regions: NCAR-CCSM4, GFDL-CM3, GISS-E2-R, IPSL-CM5A-LR, MRI-CGCM3. A composite of all five-model outputs for the RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 were used in these particular permafrost dynamics simulations. Data sets were downscaled to a 771 m resolution, using the Parameter-elevation Regressions on Independent Slopes Model (PRISM) climatology. Additional input data (snow characteristics, soil thermal properties, soil water content, organic matter accumulation or its loss due to fire, etc.) came from the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (TEM) and the ALFRESCO (ALaska FRame-based EcoSystem COde) model simulations. We estimated the dynamics of permafrost temperature, active layer thickness, area occupied by permafrost, and volume of seasonally thawed soils within the 4.75 upper meters (original TEM soil column) across the Alaska domain. Simulations of future changes in permafrost indicate that, by the end of the 21st century, late-Holocene permafrost in Alaska will be actively thawing at all locations and that some Late Pleistocene carbon-rich peatlands underlain by permafrost will

  13. Challenges of climate change: an Arctic perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corell, Robert W

    2006-06-01

    Climate change is being experienced particularly intensely in the Arctic. Arctic average temperature has risen at almost twice the rate as that of the rest of the world in the past few decades. Widespread melting of glaciers and sea ice and rising permafrost temperatures present additional evidence of strong Arctic warming. These changes in the Arctic provide an early indication of the environmental and societal significance of global consequences. The Arctic also provides important natural resources to the rest of the world (such as oil, gas, and fish) that will be affected by climate change, and the melting of Arctic glaciers is one of the factors contributing to sea level rise around the globe. An acceleration of these climatic trends is projected to occur during this century, due to ongoing increases in concentrations of greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere. These Arctic changes will, in turn, impact the planet as a whole.

  14. Seasonal dynamics of permafrost carbon emissions: A passive, quasi-continuous 14CO2 sampler

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pedron, S.; Xu, X.; Walker, J. C.; Welker, J. M.; Klein, E. S.; Euskirchen, E. S.; Czimczik, C. I.

    2017-12-01

    Millennia of carbon (C) fixation by tundra vegetation, coupled with low rates of C mineralization by soil microorganisms and preservation in permafrost, have allowed Arctic soils to accumulate vast quantities of organic C (1672 Pg C total). Today, the Arctic is rapidly warming (0.48oC decade-1) and widespread degradation of permafrost may subject permafrost C to microbial mineralization and fluxes to the atmosphere, accelerating climate change. Loss of permafrost C can be quantified in situ by measuring the radiocarbon (14C) content of soil and ecosystem respiration, because permafrost C is older (depleted in 14C) than current plant products and soil C cycling operates on timescales of years to centuries. Here, we use 14C analysis of CO2 respired from graminoid tundra in Arctic Alaska to 1) apportion how plant and microbial respiration contribute to ecosystem respiration in spring, summer, and fall, and 2) elucidate the C sources of microbial respiration throughout the year. We used a novel, passive sampling system, capable of trapping diffusive CO2 throughout the active layer of tussock sedge tundra (n=4, from mineral soil to air) over periods of 2 days to 3 weeks in June 2017. CO2 was collected into various sizes of canisters, ranging from 0.5-32 L, and analyzed for its 14C content at UC Irvine's KCCAMS laboratory. To evaluate the system's efficiency, and quantify the temporal and spatial variability of ecosystem respiration sources, we co-deployed 3 Vaisala Carbocap [CO2] and temperature probes, and traditional chambers (n=6) and gas wells (n=10) for sampling of ecosystem- and soil-respired 14CO2 over 15 min-24 hours. A comparison of traditional methods with our new sampler indicates that the system accurately sampled the expected [CO2] depth gradient. The CO2 sampling rate was positively correlated to soil [CO2] (R2=0.963), equivalent to 1.4*10-3±1.6*10-3 mg C/L/month/ppm (n=8). Gas well and probe concentrations were of the same order of magnitude on the same

  15. THE CURRENT DYNAMICS OF THE SUBMARINE PERMAFROST AND METHANE EMISSION ON THE SHELF OF THE EASTERN ARCTIC SEAS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. A. Anisimov

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available We study the methane emission over the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS under the changing sub-aquatic permafrost conditions from the time of inundation 9–6 thousand years BP to present and further until the end of the millennium. The study is based on the full-physics model of hydrothermal regime of soil. Our results indicate that the current elevated methane emission from ESAS is responsible for 0.01 ºС global air temperature rise. Even under the hypothetic climate scenario that overestimates the range of near-bottom water temperature rise, projected by the end of the millennium thawing of the bottom sediments is likely to be about90 mand will thus not reach the upper limit of the methane hydrate stability zone that is located 100–140 munderneath the sea bottom. The results of the study do not support the so called «methane bomb» hypothesis that is widely discussed in the scientific literature and in the media.

  16. Impact processes, permafrost dynamics, and climate and environmental variability in the terrestrial Arctic as inferred from the unique 3.6 Myr record of Lake El'gygytgyn, Far East Russia - A review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wennrich, Volker; Andreev, Andrei A.; Tarasov, Pavel E.; Fedorov, Grigory; Zhao, Wenwei; Gebhardt, Catalina A.; Meyer-Jacob, Carsten; Snyder, Jeffrey A.; Nowaczyk, Norbert R.; Schwamborn, Georg; Chapligin, Bernhard; Anderson, Patricia M.; Lozhkin, Anatoly V.; Minyuk, Pavel S.; Koeberl, Christian; Melles, Martin

    2016-09-01

    Lake El'gygytgyn in Far East Russia is a 3.6 Myr old impact crater lake. Located in an area that has never been affected by Cenozoic glaciations nor desiccation, the unique sediment record of the lake represents the longest continuous sediment archive of the terrestrial Arctic. The surrounding crater is the only impact structure on Earth developed in mostly acid volcanic rocks. Recent studies on the impactite, permafrost, and sediment sequences recovered within the framework of the ICDP "El'gygytgyn Drilling Project" and multiple pre-site surveys yielded new insight into the bedrock origin and cratering processes as well as permafrost dynamics and the climate and environmental history of the terrestrial Arctic back to the mid-Pliocene. Results from the impact rock section recovered during the deep drilling clearly confirm the impact genesis of the El'gygytgyn crater, but indicate an only very reduced fallback impactite sequence without larger coherent melt bodies. Isotope and element data of impact melt samples indicate a F-type asteroid of mixed composition or an ordinary chondrite as the likely impactor. The impact event caused a long-lasting hydrothermal activity in the crater that is assumed to have persisted for c. 300 kyr. Geochemical and microbial analyses of the permafrost core indicate a subaquatic formation of the lower part during lake-level highstand, but a subaerial genesis of the upper part after a lake-level drop after the Allerød. The isotope signal and ion compositions of ground ice is overprinted by several thaw-freeze cycles due to variations in the talik underneath the lake. Modeling results suggest a modern permafrost thickness in the crater of c. 340 m, and further confirm a pervasive character of the talik below Lake El'gygytgyn. The lake sediment sequences shed new leight into the Pliocene and Pleistocene climate and environmental evolution of the Arctic. During the mid-Pliocene, significantly warmer and wetter climatic conditions in

  17. Quantifying Direct and Indirect Impact of Future Climate on Sub-Arctic Hydrology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Endalamaw, A. M.; Bolton, W. R.; Young-Robertson, J. M.; Morton, D.; Hinzman, L. D.

    2016-12-01

    Projected future climate will have a significant impact on the hydrology of interior Alaskan sub-arctic watersheds, directly though the changes in precipitation and temperature patterns, and indirectly through the cryospheric and ecological impacts. Although the latter is the dominant factor controlling the hydrological processes in the interior Alaska sub-arctic, it is often overlooked in many climate change impact studies. In this study, we aim to quantify and compare the direct and indirect impact of the projected future climate on the hydrology of the interior Alaskan sub-arctic watersheds. The Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) meso-scale hydrological model will be implemented to simulate the hydrological processes, including runoff, evapotranspiration, and soil moisture dynamics in the Chena River Basin (area = 5400km2), located in the interior Alaska sub-arctic region. Permafrost and vegetation distribution will be derived from the Geophysical Institute Permafrost Lab (GIPL) model and the Lund-Potsdam-Jena Dynamic Global Model (LPJ) model, respectively. All models will be calibrated and validated using historical data. The Scenario Network for Alaskan and Arctic Planning (SNAP) 5-model average projected climate data products will be used as forcing data for each of these models. The direct impact of climate change on hydrology is estimated using surface parameterization derived from the present day permafrost and vegetation distribution, and future climate forcing from SNAP projected climate data products. Along with the projected future climate, outputs of GIPL and LPJ will be incorporated into the VIC model to estimate the indirect and overall impact of future climate on the hydrology processes in the interior Alaskan sub-arctic watersheds. Finally, we will present the potential hydrological and ecological changes by the end of the 21st century.

  18. The Effects of Different Scales of Topographic Variation on Shallow Groundwater Flow in an Arctic Watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholaides, K. D.; O'Connor, M.; Cardenas, M. B.; Neilson, B. T.; Kling, G. W.

    2017-12-01

    Arctic permafrost degradation is occurring as global temperatures increase. In addition, recent evidence shows the Arctic is shifting from a sink to a source of carbon to the atmosphere. However, the cause of this shift is unclear, as is the role of newly exposed organic soil carbon leaching into groundwater and transported to surface water. This soil carbon may be photo-oxidized to CO2 or microbially respired to CO2 and methane, adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. The fate of carbon in permafrost is largely governed by the length of time spent in transport and the surface or subsurface route it follows. However, groundwater flow regimes within shallow active layer aquifers overlying permafrost is poorly understood. We determined to what extent smaller scale topography influences groundwater flow and residence times in arctic tundra. The study focused on Imnavait Creek watershed, a 1st-order drainage on the Alaskan North Slope underlain by continuous permafrost. We used direct measurements of hydraulic conductivities and porosities over a range of depths as well as basin-scale topography to develop vertically-integrated groundwater flow models. By systematically decreasing the amount of topographic detail, we were able to compare the influence of more detailed topography on groundwater flow estimates. Scaling up this model will be a useful tool in understanding how larger basins in permafrost will respond to future climate change and their contributions to greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

  19. Numerical modeling of permafrost dynamics in Alaska using a high spatial resolution dataset

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. E. Jafarov

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Climate projections for the 21st century indicate that there could be a pronounced warming and permafrost degradation in the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions. Climate warming is likely to cause permafrost thawing with subsequent effects on surface albedo, hydrology, soil organic matter storage and greenhouse gas emissions.

    To assess possible changes in the permafrost thermal state and active layer thickness, we implemented the GIPL2-MPI transient numerical model for the entire Alaska permafrost domain. The model input parameters are spatial datasets of mean monthly air temperature and precipitation, prescribed thermal properties of the multilayered soil column, and water content that are specific for each soil class and geographical location. As a climate forcing, we used the composite of five IPCC Global Circulation Models that has been downscaled to 2 by 2 km spatial resolution by Scenarios Network for Alaska Planning (SNAP group.

    In this paper, we present the modeling results based on input of a five-model composite with A1B carbon emission scenario. The model has been calibrated according to the annual borehole temperature measurements for the State of Alaska. We also performed more detailed calibration for fifteen shallow borehole stations where high quality data are available on daily basis. To validate the model performance, we compared simulated active layer thicknesses with observed data from Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring (CALM stations. The calibrated model was used to address possible ground temperature changes for the 21st century. The model simulation results show widespread permafrost degradation in Alaska could begin between 2040–2099 within the vast area southward from the Brooks Range, except for the high altitude regions of the Alaska Range and Wrangell Mountains.

  20. The International Permafrost Association: current initiatives for cryospheric research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schollaen, Karina; Lewkowicz, Antoni G.; Christiansen, Hanne H.; Romanovsky, Vladimir E.; Lantuit, Hugues; Schrott, Lothar; Sergeev, Dimitry; Wei, Ma

    2015-04-01

    landscapes, and defining permafrost research priorities - a roadmap for the future. The latter project is a joint effort with the Climate and Cryosphere initiative (CliC) and a contribution to the upcoming International Conference on Arctic Research Planning III (ICARP III). The product stemming from the effort will consist of a journal publication listing permafrost research priorities and putting them into context. In all of these activities, the IPA emphasizes the involvement of young researchers (especially through the Permafrost Young Researchers Network and APECS) as well as its collaboration with international partner organizations such as IASC, SCAR, CliC, IACS, IUGS and WMO.

  1. Pan-Arctic distributions of continental runoff in the Arctic Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fichot, Cédric G; Kaiser, Karl; Hooker, Stanford B; Amon, Rainer M W; Babin, Marcel; Bélanger, Simon; Walker, Sally A; Benner, Ronald

    2013-01-01

    Continental runoff is a major source of freshwater, nutrients and terrigenous material to the Arctic Ocean. As such, it influences water column stratification, light attenuation, surface heating, gas exchange, biological productivity and carbon sequestration. Increasing river discharge and thawing permafrost suggest that the impacts of continental runoff on these processes are changing. Here, a new optical proxy was developed and implemented with remote sensing to determine the first pan-Arctic distribution of terrigenous dissolved organic matter (tDOM) and continental runoff in the surface Arctic Ocean. Retrospective analyses revealed connections between the routing of North American runoff and the recent freshening of the Canada Basin, and indicated a correspondence between climate-driven changes in river discharge and tDOM inventories in the Kara Sea. By facilitating the real-time, synoptic monitoring of tDOM and freshwater runoff in surface polar waters, this novel approach will help understand the manifestations of climate change in this remote region.

  2. Biodegradability of dissolved organic carbon in permafrost soils and aquatic systems : A meta-analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vonk, J. E.; Tank, S. E.; Mann, P. J.; Spencer, R. G M; Treat, C. C.; Striegl, R. G.; Abbott, B. W.; Wickland, K. P.

    2015-01-01

    As Arctic regions warm and frozen soils thaw, the large organic carbon pool stored in permafrost becomes increasingly vulnerable to decomposition or transport. The transfer of newly mobilized carbon to the atmosphere and its potential influence upon climate change will largely depend on the

  3. International Field School on Permafrost, Polar Urals, 2012

    Science.gov (United States)

    Streletskiy, D. A.; Grebenets, V.; Ivanov, M.; Sheinkman, V.; Shiklomanov, N. I.; Shmelev, D.

    2012-12-01

    Russian Arctic in general. Series of discussions were focused on methodological aspects of permafrost research, data mining techniques, international projects, job opportunities etc. The experience gained by students during the field school, new networking opportunities and good spirit of polar research cannot be adequately replaced by any classroom demonstrations. That is why it is critically important to conduct such filed schools in the future. We are grateful to administration of Yamal-Nenets Autonomous region for providing financial support and to Yamal Tour for the organization and logistics in the field.

  4. Four years of UAS Imagery Reveals Vegetation Change Due to Permafrost Thaw

    Science.gov (United States)

    DelGreco, J. L.; Herrick, C.; Varner, R. K.; McArthur, K. J.; McCalley, C. K.; Garnello, A.; Finnell, D.; Anderson, S. M.; Crill, P. M.; Palace, M. W.

    2017-12-01

    Warming trends in sub-arctic regions have resulted in thawing of permafrost which in turn induces change in vegetation across peatlands. Collapse of palsas (i.e. permafrost plateaus) has also been correlated to increases in methane (CH4) emissions to the atmosphere. Vegetation change provides new microenvironments that promote CH4 production and emission, specifically through plant interactions and structure. By quantifying the changes in vegetation at the landscape scale, we will be able to understand the impact of thaw on CH4 emissions in these complex and climate sensitive northern ecosystems. We combine field-based measurements of vegetation composition and high resolution Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) imagery to characterize vegetation change in a sub-arctic mire. At Stordalen Mire (1 km x 0.5 km), Abisko, Sweden, we flew a fixed-wing UAS in July of each year between 2014 and 2017. High precision GPS ground control points were used to georeference the imagery. Seventy-five randomized square-meter plots were measured for vegetation composition and individually classified into one of five cover types, each representing a different stage of permafrost degradation. With this training data, each year of imagery was classified by cover type. The developed cover type maps were also used to estimate CH4 emissions across the mire based on average flux CH4 rates from each cover type obtained from flux chamber measurements collected at the mire. This four year comparison of vegetation cover and methane emissions has indicated a rapid response to permafrost thaw and changes in emissions. Estimation of vegetation cover types is vital in our understanding of the evolution of northern peatlands and its future role in the global carbon cycle.

  5. Subsea Permafrost Mapped Across the U.S. Beaufort Sea Using Multichannel Seismic Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brothers, L.; Hart, P. E.; Ruppel, C. D.

    2011-12-01

    Circum-Arctic continental shelves at water depths less than ~100 m were subaerial permafrost prior to the onset of sea-level rise starting in the late Pleistocene. Rapid transgression and the resulting temperature increase at the sediment surface have led to thawing of the inundated permafrost, landward retreat of the leading edge of the permafrost, and dissociation of permafrost-associated gas hydrates. Past numerical modeling has shown that gas hydrate dissociation is particularly pronounced at the permafrost-to-no permafrost transition offshore. On the U.S. Beaufort margin, subsea permafrost has never been systematically mapped, and the best insights about permafrost and associated gas hydrate have been based on a limited number of offshore boreholes and numerical studies, with sometimes contrasting predictions of the permafrost's seaward extent. We bring together 5370 km of multichannel seismic (MCS) data acquired during various proprietary exploration industry and public domain government surveys between 1977 and 1992 to map a velocity anomaly diagnostic of submerged permafrost along 500 km of the US Beaufort coastline. These high-velocity (>~2.8 km/s) refractions (HVR), which are evident in prestack MCS shot records, reveal laterally continuous layers of shallow, ice-bonded, coarse-grained sediments beneath the inner continental shelf. The HVR occur in less than 5% of the tracklines, and calculated HVR depths range from 60 to 350 m below seafloor. The velocity anomaly is not observed seaward of the 20 m isobath, and is only found within 30 km of the current shoreline. These results can be used to: 1) create a map of the minimum distribution of remaining US Beaufort shelf subsea permafrost; 2) reconcile discrepancies between model-predicted and borehole-verified offshore permafrost distribution; and 3) constrain where to expect hydrate dissociation.

  6. Climate hazards caused by thawing permafrost? Background information of the Federal Environmental Agency; Klimagefahr durch tauenden Permafrost? UBA-Hintergrundpapier

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2006-08-15

    The thawing of permafrost regions is supposed to increase climatic change processes due to the released methane. During the last decades the temperature of permafrost soils has increased by several tenths of degree up to 2 deg C. It is supposed that 10 to 20% of the permafrost regions will thaw during the next 100 years. The southern boundary of the permafrost region will move several hundred kilometers toward the north. Besides the increased risk for the climate system there will also be disadvantageous consequences for the ecosystems. Negative economic consequences are already observed and will be enhanced in the futures with significant cost for the public.

  7. Optimization in the use of Air Convection Embankments for Protection of Underlying Permafrost

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Anders Stuhr; Ingeman-Nielsen, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    Since the beginning of the 1990s a significant increase in the mean annual air temperatures has been recorded all over the arctic regions. This has lead to a degrading of permafrost, which is now threatening the stability of airport and road embankments. To minimize the damages caused by thaw...

  8. A History of Coastal Research in the Arctic (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, H. J.; McGraw, M.

    2009-12-01

    The arctic shoreline is, according to the CIA World Factbook, 45,389 km long. However, a more realistic length from the standpoint of detailed research is the 200,000 km proposed at the 1999 Arctic Coastal Dynamics Workshop. Highly varied in form and material it is dominated by a variety of processes, is relatively remote, is ice-bound much of the year, and has generally been neglected by the scientific community. Before the 20th century, most of the information about its geology, hydrology, geomorphology, and biology was recorded in ship's logs or in explorer's books and was for the most part incidental to the narrative being related. The paucity of specific research is indicated by the relatively few relevant papers included in the more than 100,000 annotated entries published in the 15 volumes of the Arctic Bibliography (1953-1971) and in the nearly as extensive 27 volume bibliography prepared by the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) between 1952 and 1973. Nonetheless, there were some distinctive research endeavors during the early part of the 20th century; e.g., Leffingwell's 1919 Alaskan Arctic Coast observations, Nansen's 1921 strandflat studies, and Zenkovich's 1937 Murmansk research. During that period some organizations devoted to polar research, especially the USSR's Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute and the Scott Polar Research Institute (both in 1920) were established, although the amount of their research that could be considered coastal and arctic was limited. Specific research of the arctic's shoreline was mainly academic until after World War II when military, economic, industrial, and archaeological interests began demanding reliable, contemporary data. At the time numerous organizations with a primary focus on the Arctic were formed. Included are the Arctic Institute of North America (1945), the Snow, Ice, and Permafrost Research Establishment (latter to become CRREL) and the Office of Naval Research's Arctic Research

  9. PYRN-Bib: The Permafrost Young Researchers Network Bibliography of Permafrost-Related Degree-Earning Theses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grosse, Guido; Lantuit, Hugues; Gärtner-Roer, Isabelle

    2010-05-01

    PYRN-Bib is an international bibliographical database aiming at collecting and distributing information on all theses submitted for earning a scientific degree in permafrost-related research. PYRN-Bib is hosted by the Permafrost Young Researchers Network (PYRN, http://pyrn.ways.org), an international network of early career students and young scientists in permafrost related research with currently more than 750 members. The fully educational, non-profit project PYRN-Bib is published under the patronage of the International Permafrost Association (IPA). The bibliography covers all theses as long as they clearly treat aspects of permafrost research from such diverse fields as: Geophysics, Geology, Cryolithology, Biology, Biogeochemistry, Microbiology, Astrobiology, Chemistry, Engineering, Geomorphology, Remote Sensing, Modeling, Mineral and Hydrocarbon Exploration, and Science History and Education. The specific goals of PYRN-Bib are (1) to generate a comprehensive database that includes all degree-earning theses (e.g. Diploma, Ph.D., Master, etc.), coming from any country and any scientific field, under the single condition that the thesis is strongly related to research on permafrost and/or periglacial processes; (2) to reference unique but buried sources of information including theses published in languages other than English; (3) to make the database widely available to the scientific community and the general public; (4) to solicit PYRN membership; and (5) to provide a mean to map the evolution of permafrost research over the last decades, including regional trends, shifts in research direction, and/or the place of permafrost research in society. PYRN-Bib is available online and maintained by PYRN. The complete bibliography can be downloaded at no cost and is offered in different file formats: tagged Endnote library, XML, BibTex, and PDF. New entries are continuously provided by PYRN members and the scientific community. PYRN-Bib currently contains more than

  10. Natural Radioactivity Accumulated in the Arctic from Long-range Atmospheric Transport - Observations in Canadian Monitoring Stations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, Jing; Zhang, Weihua [Radiation Protection Bureau, Health Canada, 775 Brookfield Road, Ottawa K1A 1C1 (Canada)

    2014-07-01

    In the environment, the main sources of naturally occurring radionuclides come from radionuclides in the uranium decay series. Activity concentrations of uranium decay series radionuclides may vary considerably from place to place depending on the geological characteristics at the location. Their releases to the atmosphere are mainly through radon ({sup 222}Rn), a radioactive noble gas occurring naturally as an indirect decay product of uranium in soils and rocks. Due to the abundance of uranium, radon continuously emanates from continental land masses. With radon as the main source of naturally occurring radioactivity in the environment, one would think that the Arctic should be an area of low background radiation, because a considerable area of the Arctic is covered by glaciers and permafrost, and radon emanation rate has been reported to be negligible from those glacier and permafrost areas. However, available data have shown the opposite. The elevated level of naturally occurring radioactivity in the Arctic is due to natural sources outside of the Arctic, mainly through long-range atmospheric transport of radon and radon progeny. In some cases, natural radioactivity can accumulate to relatively high levels and become a health concern or a limiting factor of country food consumption. By definition, contaminants are undesirable substances which can cause harm to the environment, the biota, and humans. We can call these naturally accumulating radiological burdens to the Arctic 'natural contaminants' to distinguish them from the traditional meaning of contamination, the 'artificial contaminants' which are attributable to industrial or man-made sources. This paper reviews information available in the literature, analyses long-term atmospheric monitoring data in the Canadian high Arctic, sub-Arctic and mid-latitude sites, and provides discussion on research needed to address questions, such as how heavily the Arctic has been impacted by the

  11. Biomass offsets little or none of permafrost carbon release from soils, streams, and wildfire

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Abbott, Benjamin W.; Jones, Jeremy B.; Schuur, Edward A. G.

    2016-01-01

    estimates of net carbon balance increases the risk of further overshooting international emissions targets. Precise empirical or model-based assessments of the critical factors driving carbon balance are unlikely in the near future, so to address this gap, we present estimates from 98 permafrost......-region experts of the response of biomass, wildfire, and hydrologic carbon flux to climate change. Results suggest that contrary to model projections, total permafrost-region biomass could decrease due to water stress and disturbance, factors that are not adequately incorporated in current models. Assessments...... indicate that end-of-the-century organic carbon release from Arctic rivers and collapsing coastlines could increase by 75% while carbon loss via burning could increase four-fold. Experts identified water balance, shifts in vegetation community, and permafrost degradation as the key sources of uncertainty...

  12. Information security of power enterprises of North-Arctic region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sushko, O. P.

    2018-05-01

    The role of information technologies in providing technological security for energy enterprises is a component of the economic security for the northern Arctic region in general. Applying instruments and methods of information protection modelling of the energy enterprises' business process in the northern Arctic region (such as Arkhenergo and Komienergo), the authors analysed and identified most frequent risks of information security. With the analytic hierarchy process based on weighting factor estimations, information risks of energy enterprises' technological processes were ranked. The economic estimation of the information security within an energy enterprise considers weighting factor-adjusted variables (risks). Investments in information security systems of energy enterprises in the northern Arctic region are related to necessary security elements installation; current operating expenses on business process protection systems become materialized economic damage.

  13. Demequina lutea sp. nov., isolated from a high Arctic permafrost soil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Finster, Kai; Herbert, Rodney Andrew; Kjeldsen, Kasper Urup

    2009-01-01

    Two Gram-stain-positive, pigmented, non-motile, non-spore-forming, pleomorphic, rod-shaped bacteria (strains SV45T and SV47), isolated from a permafrost soil collected from the Adventdalen valley, Spitsbergen, northern Norway, have been characterized taxonomically using a polyphasic approach...

  14. Estimation of the Past and Future Infrastructure Damage Due the Permafrost Evolution Processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sergeev, D. O.; Chesnokova, I. V.; Morozova, A. V.

    2015-12-01

    The geocryological processes such as thermokarst, frost heaving and fracturing, icing, thermal erosion are the source of immediate danger for the structures. The economic losses during the construction procedures in the permafrost area are linked also with the other geological processes that have the specific character in cold regions. These processes are swamping, desertification, deflation, flooding, mudflows and landslides. Linear transport structures are most vulnerable component of regional and national economy. Because the high length the transport structures have to cross the landscapes with different permafrost conditions that have the different reaction to climate change. The climate warming is favorable for thermokarst and the frost heaving is linked with climate cooling. In result the structure falls in the circumstances that are not predicted in the construction project. Local engineering problems of structure exploitation lead to global risks of sustainable development of regions. Authors developed the database of geocryological damage cases for the last twelve years at the Russian territory. Spatial data have the attributive table that was filled by the published information from various permafrost conference proceedings. The preliminary GIS-analysis of gathered data showed the widespread territorial distribution of the cases of negative consequences of geocryological processes activity. The information about maximum effect from geocryological processes was validated by detailed field investigation along the railways in Yamal and Transbaicalia Regions. Authors expect the expanding of database by similar data from other sectors of Arctic. It is important for analyzing the regional, time and industrial tendencies of geocryological risk evolution. Obtained information could be used in insurance procedures and in information systems of decisions support in different management levels. The investigation was completed with financial support by Russian

  15. Comparing the sensitivity of permafrost and marine gas hydrate to climate warming

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Taylor, A.E.; Dallimore, S.R.; Hyndman, R.D.; Wright, F.

    2005-01-01

    The sensitivity of Arctic subpermafrost gas hydrate at the Mallik borehole was compared to temperate marine gas hydrate located offshore southwestern Canada. In particular, a finite element geothermal model was used to determine the sensitivity to the end of the ice age, and contemporary climate warming of a 30 m thick methane hydrate layer lying at the base of a gas hydrate stability zone prior to 13.5 kiloannum (ka) before present (BP). It was suggested that the 30 m gas-hydrate-bearing layer would have disappeared by now, according to the thermal signal alone. However, the same gas-hydrate-bearing layer underlying permafrost would persist until at least 4 ka after present, even with contemporary climate warming. The longer time for subpermafrost gas hydrate comes from the thawing pore ice at the base of permafrost, at the expense of dissociation of the deeper gas hydrate. The dissociation of underlying gas hydrate from climate surface warming is buffered by the overlying permafrost

  16. Climate change and zoonotic infections in the Russian Arctic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boris Revich

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Climate change in the Russian Arctic is more pronounced than in any other part of the country. Between 1955 and 2000, the annual average air temperature in the Russian North increased by 1.2°C. During the same period, the mean temperature of upper layer of permafrost increased by 3°C. Climate change in Russian Arctic increases the risks of the emergence of zoonotic infectious diseases. This review presents data on morbidity rates among people, domestic animals and wildlife in the Russian Arctic, focusing on the potential climate related emergence of such diseases as tick-borne encephalitis, tularemia, brucellosis, leptospirosis, rabies, and anthrax.

  17. A promising tool for subsurface permafrost mapping-An application of airborne geophysics from the Yukon River Basin, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abraham, Jared E.

    2011-01-01

    Permafrost is a predominant physical feature of the Earth's Arctic and Subarctic clines and a major consideration encompassing ecosystem structure to infrastructure engineering and placement. Perennially frozen ground is estimated to cover about 85 percent of the state of Alaska where northern reaches are underlain with continuous permafrost and parts of interior Alaska are underlain by areas of discontinuous and (or) sporadic permafrost (fig. 1). The region of Interior Alaska, where permafrost is scattered among unfrozen ground, is a complex mosaic of terrains and habitats. Such diversity creates arrays of lakes and surface-water and groundwater patterns that continental populations of migratory waterfowl and internationally significant fisheries have adapted to over time. A road or pipeline might pass over frozen and unfrozen ground, affecting the types of materials and engineering approaches needed to sustain the infrastructure.

  18. Thermal state of permafrost in North America: A contribution to the international polar year

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, S.L.; Romanovsky, V.E.; Lewkowicz, A.G.; Burn, C.R.; Allard, M.; Clow, G.D.; Yoshikawa, K.; Throop, J.

    2010-01-01

    A snapshot of the thermal state of permafrost in northern North America during the International Polar Year (IPY) was developed using ground temperature data collected from 350 boreholes. More than half these were established during IPY to enhance the network in sparsely monitored regions. The measurement sites span a diverse range of ecoclimatic and geological conditions across the continent and are at various elevations within the Cordillera. The ground temperatures within the discontinuous permafrost zone are generally above -3°C, and range down to -15°C in the continuous zone. Ground temperature envelopes vary according to substrate, with shallow depths of zero annual amplitude for peat and mineral soils, and much greater depths for bedrock. New monitoring sites in the mountains of southern and central Yukon suggest that permafrost may be limited in extent. In concert with regional air temperatures, permafrost has generally been warming across North America for the past several decades, as indicated by measurements from the western Arctic since the 1970s and from parts of eastern Canada since the early 1990s. The rates of ground warming have been variable, but are generally greater north of the treeline. Latent heat effects in the southern discontinuous zone dominate the permafrost thermal regime close to 0°C and allow permafrost to persist under a warming climate. Consequently, the spatial diversity of permafrost thermal conditions is decreasing over time.

  19. Predicting Changes in Arctic Tundra Vegetation: Towards an Understanding of Plant Trait Uncertainty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Euskirchen, E. S.; Serbin, S.; Carman, T.; Iversen, C. M.; Salmon, V.; Helene, G.; McGuire, A. D.

    2017-12-01

    Arctic tundra plant communities are currently undergoing unprecedented changes in both composition and distribution under a warming climate. Predicting how these dynamics may play out in the future is important since these vegetation shifts impact both biogeochemical and biogeophysical processes. More precise estimates of these future vegetation shifts is a key challenge due to both a scarcity of data with which to parameterize vegetation models, particularly in the Arctic, as well as a limited understanding of the importance of each of the model parameters and how they may vary over space and time. Here, we incorporate newly available field data from arctic Alaska into a dynamic vegetation model specifically developed to take into account a particularly wide array of plant species as well as the permafrost soils of the arctic tundra (the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model with Dynamic Vegetation and Dynamic Organic Soil, Terrestrial Ecosystem Model; DVM-DOS-TEM). We integrate the model within the Predicative Ecosystem Analyzer (PEcAn), an open-source integrated ecological bioinformatics toolbox that facilitates the flows of information into and out of process models and model-data integration. We use PEcAn to evaluate the plant functional traits that contribute most to model variability based on a sensitivity analysis. We perform this analysis for the dominant types of tundra in arctic Alaska, including heath, shrub, tussock and wet sedge tundra. The results from this analysis will help inform future data collection in arctic tundra and reduce model uncertainty, thereby improving our ability to simulate Arctic vegetation structure and function in response to global change.

  20. Summary of wildlife-related research on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, 2002–17

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearce, John M.; Flint, Paul L.; Atwood, Todd C.; Douglas, David C.; Adams, Layne G.; Johnson, Heather E.; Arthur, Stephen M.; Latty, Christopher J.

    2018-01-23

    We summarize recent (2002–17) publicly available information from studies within the 1002 Area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as well as terrestrial and coastal ecosystems elsewhere on the Arctic Coastal Plain that are relevant to the 1002 Area. This report provides an update on earlier research summaries on caribou (Rangifer tarandus), forage quality and quantity, polar bears (Ursus maritimus), muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus), and snow geese (Chen caerulescens). We also provide information on new research related to climate, migratory birds, permafrost, coastal erosion, coastal lagoons, fish, water resources, and potential effects of industrial disturbance on wildlife. From this literature review, we noted evidence for change in the status of some wildlife and their habitats, and the lack of change for others. In the 1002 Area, muskox numbers have decreased and the Porcupine Caribou Herd has exhibited variation in use of the area during the calving season. Polar bears are now more common on shore in summer and fall because of declines in sea ice in the Beaufort Sea. In a study spanning 25 years, there were no significant changes in vegetation quality and quantity, soil conditions, or permafrost thaw in the coastal plain of the 1002 Area. Based on studies from the central Arctic Coastal Plain, there are persistent and emerging uncertainties about the long-term effects of energy development for caribou. In contrast, recent studies that examined direct and indirect effects of industrial activities and infrastructure on birds in the central Arctic Coastal Plain found little effect for the species and disturbances examined, except for the possibility of increased predator activity near human developments.

  1. Assimilation of old carbon by stream food webs in arctic Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Donnell, J. A.; Carey, M.; Xu, X.; Koch, J. C.; Walker, J. C.; Zimmerman, C. E.

    2017-12-01

    Permafrost thaw in arctic and sub-arctic region is mobilizing old carbon (C) from perennially frozen soils, driving the release of old C to the atmosphere and to aquatic ecosystems. Much research has focused on the transport and lability of old dissolved organic C (DOC) as a possible feedback to the climate system following thaw. However, little is known about the role of old C as a source to aquatic food webs in watersheds underlain by thawing permafrost. To quantify the contributions of old C to Arctic stream food-webs, we measured the radiocarbon (Δ14C) and stable isotope (δ13C, δ15N) contents of periphyton, macroinvertebrates, and resident fish species (Arctic Grayling (Thymallus arcticus) and Dolly Varden (Salvelinus malma)). We also characterized the isotopic composition of possible C sources, including DOC, dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), and soil organic matter. Samples were collected across 10 streams in Arctic Alaska, draining watersheds underlain by varying parent material and ground-ice content, from ice-poor bedrock to ice-rich loess (i.e. Yedoma). Fraction modern (FM) values for Arctic Grayling and Dolly Varden ranged from 0.6720 to 1.0101 (3195 years BP to modern) across all streams, and closely tracked spatial variation in Δ14C content of periphyton. Parent material and ground-ice content appear to govern the age and form of dissolved C sources to stream biota. For instance, in watersheds underlain by ice-poor bedrock, old DIC (< 5000 years BP) was the dominant C source to stream biota, reflecting contributions from carbonate weathering and soil respiration. In streams draining ice-rich Yedoma, high concentrations of younger DOC were the primary C source to stream biota, reflecting leaching of DOC from saturated, peaty soils of the active layer. These findings highlight the importance of permafrost characteristics as a control on subsurface hydrology and the delivery of aged C to surface waters. Given the large stores Pleistocene-aged organic

  2. Isolation of dissolved organic matter from permafrost soil and freshwater environments of the Kolyma River basin, east Siberia, for high resolution structural analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubinenkov, I. V.; Perminova, I. V.; Bulygina, E. B.; Holmes, R. M.; Davydov, S.; Mann, P. J.; Vonk, J.; Zimov, S. A.

    2010-12-01

    The Arctic and Subarctic ecosystems are known to be the most vulnerable with respect to climate change. Hence, research on carbon cycling in the Arctic region is very important for understanding the current climatic trends and their consequences. The Kolyma River watershed is one of the Arctic Ocean’s largest. It is dominated by continuous permafrost which is underlain with rich organic soils susceptible to increased fluvial transport. The thaw of permafrost enhanced due to global warming might provide additional large source of organic carbon to the Kolyma River and to the Arctic Ocean as a whole. For estimating the contribution of this source to the total pool of organic carbon, specific structural features of permafrost dissolved organic matter (DOM) as opposed to the waterborne DOM of the Kolyma River should be identified and monitored. The objective of this work was to isolate a representive set of the DOM samples from permafrost soil and freshwater environments of the Kolyma River basin suitable for further structural analysis using high resolution Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectroscopy (FTICR-MS) and 1H NMR spectroscopy. The isolation protocol of DOM used in this study has been developed by Dittmar et al, 2008 for sampling marine DOM for NMR studies. It is based on the solid phase extraction of DOM from seawater using PPL Varian Bond Elute cartridges Those cartridges were shown to possess the highest efficiency in DOM isolation from marine water. Prior to discharge through the cartridge, a water sample was filtered through 0.45 μm filter for separation of particulate matter and acidified to pH 2 using HCl. About 50mg of DOM could be sequestered from aqueous phase using one cartridge. Sorption extent was monitored by measurements of DOC concentration and UV-vis spectra at the inlet and outlet of the cartridge. It was determined that from 60 to 65% of the total DOC could be extracted from the tested samples of freshwater. As a result

  3. Mapping of permafrost surface using ground-penetrating radar at Kangerlussuaq Airport, western Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Anders Stuhr; Andreasen, Frank

    2007-01-01

    Kangerlussuaq Airport is located at 67°N and 51°W in the zone of continuous permafrost in western Greenland. Its proximity to the Greenlandic ice sheet results in a dry sub-arctic climate with a mean annual temperature of −5.7 °C. The airport is built on a river terrace mostly consisting of fluvial......, in autumn 2000, three test areas were painted white in order to reduce further development of depressions in the asphalt pavement. GPR profiles crossing the white areas show a distinct difference in depth to the permafrost surface under the painted areas compared to the natural black asphalt surface. GPR...... of the permafrost surface and the formation of several depressions in the pavement of the southern parking area. The depressions can be clearly seen after rainfall. To calibrate the GPR survey, sediment samples from a borehole were analyzed with respect to water content, grain size and content of organic material...

  4. Review of technology for Arctic offshore oil and gas recovery

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sackinger, W. M.

    1980-08-01

    The technical background briefing report is the first step in the preparation of a plan for engineering research oriented toward Arctic offshore oil and gas recovery. A five-year leasing schedule for the ice-prone waters of the Arctic offshore is presented, which also shows the projected dates of the lease sale for each area. The estimated peak production rates for these areas are given. There is considerable uncertainty for all these production estimates, since no exploratory drilling has yet taken place. A flow chart is presented which relates the special Arctic factors, such as ice and permafrost, to the normal petroleum production sequence. Some highlights from the chart and from the technical review are: (1) in many Arctic offshore locations the movement of sea ice causes major lateral forces on offshore structures, which are much greater than wave forces; (2) spray ice buildup on structures, ships and aircraft will be considerable, and must be prevented or accommodated with special designs; (3) the time available for summer exploratory drilling, and for deployment of permanent production structures, is limited by the return of the pack ice. This time may be extended by ice-breaking vessels in some cases; (4) during production, icebreaking workboats will service the offshore platforms in most areas throughout the year; (5) transportation of petroleum by icebreaking tankers from offshore tanker loading points is a highly probable situation, except in the Alaskan Beaufort; and (6) Arctic pipelines must contend with permafrost, making instrumentation necessary to detect subtle changes of the pipe before rupture occurs.

  5. Geophysical Investigation of a Thermokarst Lake Talik in Continuous Permafrost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creighton, A.; Parsekian, A.; Arp, C. D.; Jones, B. M.; Babcock, E.; Bondurant, A. C.

    2016-12-01

    On the Arctic Coastal Plain (ACP) of northern Alaska, shallow thermokarst lakes cover up to 25% of the landscape. These lakes occupy depressions created by the subsidence of thawed, ice-rich permafrost. Areas of unfrozen sediment, or taliks, can form under lakes that have a mean annual bottom temperature greater than 0°C. The geometry of these taliks, as well as the processes that create them, are important for understanding interactions between surface water, groundwater, and carbon cycling. Non-invasive geophysical methods are a useful means to study talik sediments as borehole studies yield few data points, and the contrast between unfrozen and frozen sediments is an ideal geophysical target. To study talik configuration associated with an actively expanding thermokarst lake, we conducted a geophysical transect across Peatball Lake. This lake has an estimated initiation age of 1400 calendar years BP. Over the past 60 years, lake surface area has increased through thermal and mechanical shoreline erosion. A talik of previously unknown thickness likely exists below Peatball Lake. We conducted a transect of transient electromagnetic soundings across the lake extending into the surrounding terrestrial environment. Since permafrost has relatively high resistivity compared to talik sediments, the interpreted electrical structure of the subsurface likely reflects talik geometry. We also conducted nuclear magnetic resonance soundings at representative locations along the transect. These measurements can provide data on sub-lake sediment properties including water content. Together, these measurements resolve the talik structure across the lake transect and showed evidence of varying talik thicknesses from the lake edge to center. These is no evidence of a talik at the terrestrial control sites. These results can help constrain talik development models and thus provide insight into Arctic and permafrost processes in the face of a changing climate.

  6. The joint Russia-US-Sweden studies in the near-shore zone of the East-Siberian Arctic seas: (1999-2008)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sergienko, V. I.; Shakhova, N.; Dudarev, O.; Gustafsson, O.; Anderson, L.; Semiletov, I.

    2009-04-01

    The Arctic Ocean is surrounded by permafrost, which is being degraded at an increasing rate under conditions of warming which are most pronounced in Siberia and Alaska . A major constraint on our ability to understand linkages between the Arctic Ocean and the global climate system is the scarcity of observational data in the Siberian Arctic marginal seas where major fresh water input and terrestrial CNP fluxes exist. The East-Siberian Sea has never been investigated by modern techniques despite the progress that has been made in new technologies useful for measuring ocean characteristics of interest. In this multi-year international project which joins scientists from 3 nations (Russia-USA-Sweden), and in cooperation with scientists from other countries (UK, Netherlands) we focus on poorly explored areas located west from the U.S.-Russia boundary, Warming causes thawing of the permafrost underlying a substantial fraction of the Arctic; this process could accelerate coastal erosion, river discharge and carbon losses from soils. Siberian freshwater discharge to the Arctic Ocean is expected to increase with increasing temperatures, potentially resulting in greater river export of old terrigenous organic carbon to the ocean. Rivers integrate variability in the components of the hydrometeorological regime, including soil condition, permafrost seasonal thaw, and thermokarst development, all the variables that determine atmospheric and ground water supply for the rivers and chemical weathering in their watershed. Thus studying carbon cycling in the East Siberian Arctic marginal seas has a high scientific priority in order to establish the carbon budget and evaluate the role of the Arctic region in global carbon cycling, especially in the coastal zone where the redistribution of carbon between terrestrial and marine environments occurs and the characteristics of carbon exchange with atmosphere are unknown. In this report we overview the main field activities and present

  7. Collaboration in Education: International Field Class on Permafrost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Streletskiy, D. A.; Shiklomanov, N. I.; Grebenets, V. I.

    2011-12-01

    Field work is a dominant research component in the earth sciences. Understanding and proper use of field methods can enhance the quality of research, while lack of understanding in acquiring data can lead to misleading interpretation of results. Early involvement in field work helps students to bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical applications and to be better prepared for future jobs. However, many University curriculums lack adequate, required field methods courses. Presented are results of collaboration between the George Washington and Moscow State Universities in organization of field courses on Arctic physical and social environments. The latest field course took place in summer 2011 in the Central Siberian region and is a part of the International Permafrost Association education and outreach effort initiated during International Polar Year. The 25 day course involved fifteen Russian and US students who traveled from Moscow to Krasnoyarsk, and then along Yenisey river to Norilsk. This route was chosen as having diversity of natural conditions and variety of economic, engineering, and demographic problems associated with development. The main goal of the class was to investigate permafrost conditions of Central Siberia; dynamics of upper permafrost due to changing climate and under anthropogenic influence; and to understand factors responsible for the diversity of permafrost conditions in the region. The students and instructors were required to make presentations on a variety of topics focusing on the region or research methods, such as climate, vegetation, hydrology, history of development, economics, remote sensing, etc. The emphasis in the field was made on understanding permafrost in relation to other components of the natural system. For example, landscape conditions (including microclimatic, biogeographic and pedologic conditions) were described at every site located in natural settings. Sites located in settlements were evaluated

  8. Development of capability for microtopography-resolving simulations of hydrologic processes in permafrost affected regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Painter, S.; Moulton, J. D.; Berndt, M.; Coon, E.; Garimella, R.; Lewis, K. C.; Manzini, G.; Mishra, P.; Travis, B. J.; Wilson, C. J.

    2012-12-01

    The frozen soils of the Arctic and subarctic regions contain vast amounts of stored organic carbon. This carbon is vulnerable to release to the atmosphere as temperatures warm and permafrost degrades. Understanding the response of the subsurface and surface hydrologic system to degrading permafrost is key to understanding the rate, timing, and chemical form of potential carbon releases to the atmosphere. Simulating the hydrologic system in degrading permafrost regions is challenging because of the potential for topographic evolution and associated drainage network reorganization as permafrost thaws and massive ground ice melts. The critical process models required for simulating hydrology include subsurface thermal hydrology of freezing/thawing soils, thermal processes within ice wedges, mechanical deformation processes, overland flow, and surface energy balances including snow dynamics. A new simulation tool, the Arctic Terrestrial Simulator (ATS), is being developed to simulate these coupled processes. The computational infrastructure must accommodate fully unstructured grids that track evolving topography, allow accurate solutions on distorted grids, provide robust and efficient solutions on highly parallel computer architectures, and enable flexibility in the strategies for coupling among the various processes. The ATS is based on Amanzi (Moulton et al. 2012), an object-oriented multi-process simulator written in C++ that provides much of the necessary computational infrastructure. Status and plans for the ATS including major hydrologic process models and validation strategies will be presented. Highly parallel simulations of overland flow using high-resolution digital elevation maps of polygonal patterned ground landscapes demonstrate the feasibility of the approach. Simulations coupling three-phase subsurface thermal hydrology with a simple thaw-induced subsidence model illustrate the strong feedbacks among the processes. D. Moulton, M. Berndt, M. Day, J

  9. An estimated cost of lost climate regulation services caused by thawing of the Arctic cryosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Euskirchen, Eugénie S; Goodstein, Eban S; Huntington, Henry P

    2013-12-01

    Recent and expected changes in Arctic sea ice cover, snow cover, and methane emissions from permafrost thaw are likely to result in large positive feedbacks to climate warming. There is little recognition of the significant loss in economic value that the disappearance of Arctic sea ice, snow, and permafrost will impose on humans. Here, we examine how sea ice and snow cover, as well as methane emissions due to changes in permafrost, may potentially change in the future, to year 2100, and how these changes may feed back to influence the climate. Between 2010 and 2100, the annual costs from the extra warming due to a decline in albedo related to losses of sea ice and snow, plus each year's methane emissions, cumulate to a present value cost to society ranging from US$7.5 trillion to US$91.3 trillion. The estimated range reflects uncertainty associated with (1) the extent of warming-driven positive climate feedbacks from the thawing cryosphere and (2) the expected economic damages per metric ton of CO2 equivalents that will be imposed by added warming, which depend, especially, on the choice of discount rate. The economic uncertainty is much larger than the uncertainty in possible future feedback effects. Nonetheless, the frozen Arctic provides immense services to all nations by cooling the earth's temperature: the cryosphere is an air conditioner for the planet. As the Arctic thaws, this critical, climate-stabilizing ecosystem service is being lost. This paper provides a first attempt to monetize the cost of some of those lost services.

  10. Relict Mountain Permafrost Area (Loess Plateau, China) Exhibits High Ecosystem Respiration Rates and Accelerating Rates in Response to Warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mu, Cuicui; Wu, Xiaodong; Zhao, Qian; Smoak, Joseph M.; Yang, Yulong; Hu, Lian; Zhong, Wen; Liu, Guimin; Xu, Haiyan; Zhang, Tingjun

    2017-10-01

    Relict permafrost regions are characterized by thin permafrost and relatively high temperatures. Understanding the ecosystem respiration rate (ERR) and its relationship with soil hydrothermal conditions in these areas can provide knowledge regarding the permafrost carbon cycle in a warming world. In this study, we examined a permafrost area, a boundary area, and a seasonally frozen ground area within a relict permafrost region on the east edge of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China. Measurements from July 2015 to September 2016 showed that the mean annual ecosystem CO2 emissions for the boundary area were greater than the permafrost area. The Q10 value of the ERRs in the seasonally frozen ground area was greater than the permafrost area, indicating that the carbon emissions in the nonpermafrost areas were more sensitive to warming. The 1 year open-top chamber (OTC) warming increased soil temperatures in both the permafrost and seasonally frozen ground areas throughout the year, and the warming increased the ERRs by 1.18 (0.99-1.38, with interquartile range) and 1.13 (0.75-1.54, with interquartile range) μmol CO2 m-2 s-1 in permafrost and seasonally frozen ground areas, respectively. The OTC warming increased annual ERRs by approximately 50% for both permafrost and seasonally frozen ground areas with half the increase occurring during the nongrowing seasons. These results suggest that the ERRs in relict permafrost are high in comparison with arctic regions, and the carbon balance in relict permafrost areas could be greatly changed by climate warming.

  11. Evolving hydrologic connectivity in discontinuous permafrost lowlands: what it means for lake systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walvoord, M. A.; Jepsen, S. M.; Rover, J.; Voss, C. I.; Briggs, M. A.

    2015-12-01

    Permafrost influence on the hydrologic connectivity of surface water bodies in high-latitude lowlands is complicated by subsurface heterogeneity and the propensity of the system to change over time. In general, permafrost limits the subsurface exchange of water, solute, and nutrients between lakes and rivers. It follows that permafrost thaw could enhance subsurface hydrologic connectivity among surface water bodies, but the impact of this process on lake distribution is not well known. Changes in the extent of lakes in interior Alaska have important ecological and societal impacts since lakes provide (1) critical habitat for migratory arctic shorebirds and waterfowl, fish, and wildlife, and (2) provisional, recreational, and cultural resources for local communities. We utilize electromagnetic imaging of the shallow subsurface and remote sensing of lake level dynamics in the Yukon Flats of interior Alaska, USA, together with water balance modeling, to gain insight into the influence of discontinuous permafrost on lowland lake systems. In the study region with relatively low precipitation, observations suggest that lakes that are hydrologically isolated during normal conditions are sustained by periodic river flooding events, including ice-jam floods that occur during river ice break-up. Climatically-influenced alterations in flooding frequency and intensity, as well as depth to permafrost, are quantitatively assessed in the context of lake maintenance. Scenario modeling is used to evaluate lake level evolution under plausible changing conditions. Model results demonstrate how permafrost degradation can reduce the dependence of typical lowland lakes on flooding events. Study results also suggest that river flooding may recharge a more spatially widespread zone of lakes and wetlands under future scenarios of permafrost table deepening and enhanced subsurface hydrologic connectivity.

  12. ADAPT: building conceptual models of the physical and biological processes across permafrost landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allard, M.; Vincent, W. F.; Lemay, M.

    2012-12-01

    Fundamental and applied permafrost research is called upon in Canada in support of environmental protection, economic development and for contributing to the international efforts in understanding climatic and ecological feedbacks of permafrost thawing under a warming climate. The five year "Arctic Development and Adaptation to Permafrost in Transition" program (ADAPT) funded by NSERC brings together 14 scientists from 10 Canadian universities and involves numerous collaborators from academia, territorial and provincial governments, Inuit communities and industry. The geographical coverage of the program encompasses all of the permafrost regions of Canada. Field research at a series of sites across the country is being coordinated. A common protocol for measuring ground thermal and moisture regime, characterizing terrain conditions (vegetation, topography, surface water regime and soil organic matter contents) is being applied in order to provide inputs for designing a general model to provide an understanding of transfers of energy and matter in permafrost terrain, and the implications for biological and human systems. The ADAPT mission is to produce an 'Integrated Permafrost Systems Science' framework that will be used to help generate sustainable development and adaptation strategies for the North in the context of rapid socio-economic and climate change. ADAPT has three major objectives: to examine how changing precipitation and warming temperatures affect permafrost geosystems and ecosystems, specifically by testing hypotheses concerning the influence of the snowpack, the effects of water as a conveyor of heat, sediments, and carbon in warming permafrost terrain and the processes of permafrost decay; to interact directly with Inuit communities, the public sector and the private sector for development and adaptation to changes in permafrost environments; and to train the new generation of experts and scientists in this critical domain of research in Canada

  13. Physiological characteristics of bacteria isolated from water brines within permafrost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shcherbakova, V.; Rivkina, E.; Laurinavichuis, K.; Pecheritsina, S.; Gilichinsky, D.

    2004-01-01

    In the Arctic there are lenses of overcooled water brines (cryopegs) sandwiched within permafrost marine sediments 100 120 thousand years old. We have investigated the physiological properties of the pure cultures of anaerobic Clostridium sp. strain 14D1 and two strains of aerobic bacteria Psychrobacter sp. isolated from these cryopegs. The structural and physiological characteristics of new bacteria from water brines have shown their ability to survive and develop under harsh conditions, such as subzero temperatures and high salinity.

  14. Aeolian stratigraphy describes ice-age paleoenvironments in unglaciated Arctic Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaglioti, Benjamin V.; Mann, Daniel H.; Groves, Pamela; Kunz, Michael L.; Farquharson, Louise M.; Reanier, Richard E.; Jones, Benjamin M.; Wooller, Matthew J.

    2018-02-01

    Terrestrial paleoenvironmental records with high dating resolution extending into the last ice age are rare from the western Arctic. Such records can test the synchronicity and extent of ice-age climatic events and define how Arctic landscapes respond to rapid climate changes. Here we describe the stratigraphy and sedimentology of a yedoma deposit in Arctic Alaska (the Carter Section) dating to between 37,000 and 9000 calibrated radiocarbon years BP (37-9 ka) and containing detailed records of loess and sand-sheet sedimentation, soil development, carbon storage, and permafrost dynamics. Alternation between sand-sheet and loess deposition provides a proxy for the extent and activity of the Ikpikpuk Sand Sea (ISS), a large dune field located immediately upwind. Warm, moist interstadial times (ca. 37, 36.3-32.5, and 15-13 ka) triggered floodplain aggradation, permafrost thaw, reduced loess deposition, increased vegetation cover, and rapid soil development accompanied by enhanced carbon storage. During the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, ca. 28-18 ka), rapid loess deposition took place on a landscape where vegetation was sparse and non-woody. The most intense aeolian activity occurred after the LGM between ca. 18 and 15 ka when sand sheets fringing the ISS expanded over the site, possibly in response to increasingly droughty conditions as summers warmed and active layers deepened. With the exception of this lagged LGM response, the record of aeolian activity at the Carter Section correlates with other paleoenvironmental records from unglaciated Siberia and Alaska. Overall, rapid shifts in geomorphology, soils, vegetation, and permafrost portray an ice-age landscape where, in contrast to the Holocene, environmental change was chronic and dominated by aeolian processes.

  15. Plant traits and trait-based vegetation modeling in the Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, C.; Sevanto, S.; Iversen, C. M.; Salmon, V. G.; Rogers, A.; Wullschleger, S.; Wilson, C. J.

    2017-12-01

    Arctic tundra environments are characterized by extremely cold temperatures, strong winds, short growing season and thin, nutrient-poor soil layer impacted by permafrost. To survive in this environment vascular plants have developed traits that simultaneously promote high productivity under favorable environments, and survival in harsh conditions. To improve representation of Arctic tundra vegetation in Earth System Models we surveyed plant trait data bases for key trait parameters that influence modeled ecosystem carbon balance, and compared the traits within plant families occurring in the boreal, temperate and arctic zones. The parameters include photosynthetic carbon uptake efficiency (Vcmax and Jmax), root:shoot ratio, and root and leaf nitrogen content, and we focused on woody shrubs. Our results suggest that root nitrogen content in non-nitrogen fixing tundra shrubs is lower than in representatives of the same families in the boreal or temperate zone. High tissue nitrogen concentrations have been related to high vulnerability to drought. The low root nitrogen concentrations in tundra shrubs may thus be an indication of acclimation to shallow soils, and frequent freezing that has a similar impact on the plant conductive tissue as drought. With current nitrogen availability, nitrogen limitation reduces the benefits of increased temperatures and longer growing seasons to the tundra ecosystem carbon balance. Thawing of permafrost will increase nitrogen availability, and promote plant growth and carbon uptake, but it could also make the shrubs more vulnerable to freeze-thaw cycles, with the overall result of reduced shrub coverage. The final outcome of warming temperatures and thawing of permafrost on tundra shrubs will thus depend on the relative speed of warming and plant acclimation.

  16. Surface and subsurface conditions in permafrost areas - a literature review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vidstrand, Patrik

    2003-02-01

    This report contains a summary of some of the information within existing technical and scientific literature on permafrost. Permafrost is viewed as one of the future climate driven process domains that may exist in Scandinavia, and that may give rise to significantly different surface and subsurface conditions than the present. Except for changes in the biosphere, permafrost may impact hydraulic, mechanical, and chemical subsurface processes and conditions. Permafrost and its influences on the subsurface conditions are thus of interest for the performance and safety assessments of deep geological waste repositories. The definition of permafrost is 'ground that stays at or below 0 deg C for at least two consecutive years'. Permafrost will effect the geological subsurface to some depth. How deep the permafrost may grow is a function of the heat balance, thermal conditions at the surface and within the ground, and the geothermal heat flux from the Earth's inner parts. The main chapters of the report summaries the knowledge on permafrost evolution, occurrence and distribution, and extracts information concerning hydrology and mechanical and chemical impacts due to permafrost related conditions. The results of a literature review are always dependent on the available literature. Concerning permafrost there is some literature available from investigations in the field of long-term repositories and some from mining industries. However, reports of these investigations are few and the bulk of permafrost literature comes from the science departments concerned with surficial processes (e.g. geomorphology, hydrology, agriculture, etc) and from engineering concerns, such as foundation of constructions and pipeline design. This focus within the permafrost research inevitably yields a biased but also an abundant amount of information on localised surficial processes and a limited amount on regional and deep permafrost characteristics. Possible conclusions are that there is

  17. Surface and subsurface conditions in permafrost areas - a literature review

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vidstrand, Patrik [Bergab, Goeteborg (Sweden)

    2003-02-01

    This report contains a summary of some of the information within existing technical and scientific literature on permafrost. Permafrost is viewed as one of the future climate driven process domains that may exist in Scandinavia, and that may give rise to significantly different surface and subsurface conditions than the present. Except for changes in the biosphere, permafrost may impact hydraulic, mechanical, and chemical subsurface processes and conditions. Permafrost and its influences on the subsurface conditions are thus of interest for the performance and safety assessments of deep geological waste repositories. The definition of permafrost is 'ground that stays at or below 0 deg C for at least two consecutive years'. Permafrost will effect the geological subsurface to some depth. How deep the permafrost may grow is a function of the heat balance, thermal conditions at the surface and within the ground, and the geothermal heat flux from the Earth's inner parts. The main chapters of the report summaries the knowledge on permafrost evolution, occurrence and distribution, and extracts information concerning hydrology and mechanical and chemical impacts due to permafrost related conditions. The results of a literature review are always dependent on the available literature. Concerning permafrost there is some literature available from investigations in the field of long-term repositories and some from mining industries. However, reports of these investigations are few and the bulk of permafrost literature comes from the science departments concerned with surficial processes (e.g. geomorphology, hydrology, agriculture, etc) and from engineering concerns, such as foundation of constructions and pipeline design. This focus within the permafrost research inevitably yields a biased but also an abundant amount of information on localised surficial processes and a limited amount on regional and deep permafrost characteristics. Possible conclusions are that

  18. Changes to the Carbon and Energy fluxes in a Northern Peatland with Thawing Permafrost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harder, S. R.; Roulet, N. T.; Crill, P. M.; Strachan, I. B.

    2017-12-01

    The maintenance of thaw of high carbon density landscapes in the permafrost region ultimately depends of how the energy balance is partitioned as temperatures and precipitation change, yet there are comparatively few energy balance studies, especially in peatlands that contain permafrost. While permafrost peatlands are currently net sinks of carbon, as Arctic temperatures rise and permafrost thaws, the future of these ecosystems and their capacity for carbon uptake is in question. Since 2012 we have been measuring the spatially integrated CO2, energy and water vapour fluxes from the Stordalen peatland (68°22'N, 19°03'E) using eddy covariance (EC). The Stordalen peatland is a heterogeneous peatland in the discontinuous permafrost zone where permafrost thaw is actively occurring, resulting in large changes to the landscape from year to year. Areas where permafrost is present are elevated by up to 1.5 m compared to the areas where permafrost has thawed causing differences in water table depth, peat temperatures, snow distribution, vegetation community and therefore in the carbon and energy fluxes. Our EC tower is located on the edge of a permafrost peat plateau (or palsa) where one fetch measures fluxes from an area underlain by permafrost and the other fetch sees the portion of the peatland where the permafrost has thawed. Within each sector, we have an array of soil temperature and water content sensors to determine the physical characteristics of each fetch. Extensive vegetation surveys (based on plant functional types or PFTs) have also been conducted to run a footprint analysis on the flux data to complete a comparative analysis of the magnitude and variability of the carbon and energy exchanges from PFT. The footprint analysis allows us to explain the difference in energy and carbon fluxes by examining the ecological, biogeochemical and physical characteristics within each footprint. We see distinctly different energy partitioning between the fetches

  19. Fate of terrigenous organic matter across the Laptev Sea from the mouth of the Lena River to the deep sea of the Arctic interior

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bröder, Lisa; Tesi, Tommaso; Salvadó, Joan A.; Semiletov, Igor P.; Dudarev, Oleg V.; Gustafsson, Orjan

    2016-01-01

    Ongoing global warming in high latitudes may cause an increasing supply of permafrost-derived organic carbon through both river discharge and coastal erosion to the Arctic shelves. Mobilized permafrost carbon can be either buried in sediments, transported to the deep sea or degraded to CO2 and

  20. Permafrost Organic Carbon Mobilization From the Watershed to the Colville River Delta: Evidence From 14C Ramped Pyrolysis and Lignin Biomarkers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xiaowen; Bianchi, Thomas S.; Cui, Xingqian; Rosenheim, Brad E.; Ping, Chien-Lu; Hanna, Andrea J. M.; Kanevskiy, Mikhail; Schreiner, Kathryn M.; Allison, Mead A.

    2017-11-01

    The deposition of terrestrial-derived permafrost particulate organic carbon (POC) has been recorded in major Arctic river deltas. However, associated transport pathways of permafrost POC from the watershed to the coast have not been well constrained. Here we utilized a combination of ramped pyrolysis-oxidation radiocarbon analysis (RPO 14C) along with lignin biomarkers, to track the linkages between soils and river and delta sediments. Surface and deep soils showed distinct RPO thermographs which may be related to degradation and organo-mineral interaction. Soil material in the bed load of the river channel was mostly derived from deep old permafrost. Both surface and deep soils were transported and deposited to the coast. Hydrodynamic sorting and barrier island protection played important roles in terrestrial-derived permafrost POC deposition near the coast. On a large scale, ice processes (e.g., ice gauging and strudel scour) and ocean currents controlled the transport and distribution of permafrost POC on the Beaufort Shelf.

  1. Mid-Wisconsin to Holocene permafrost and landscape dynamics based on a drained lake basin core from the northern Seward Peninsula, northwest Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenz, Josefine; Grosse, Guido; Jones, Benjamin M.; Anthony, Katey M. Walter; Bobrov, Anatoly; Wulf, Sabine; Wetterich, Sebastian

    2016-01-01

    Permafrost-related processes drive regional landscape dynamics in the Arctic terrestrial system. A better understanding of past periods indicative of permafrost degradation and aggradation is important for predicting the future response of Arctic landscapes to climate change. Here, we used a multi-proxy approach to analyse a ~ 4 m long sediment core from a drained thermokarst lake basin on the northern Seward Peninsula in western Arctic Alaska (USA). Sedimentological, biogeochemical, geochronological, micropalaeontological (ostracoda, testate amoebae) and tephra analyses were used to determine the long-term environmental Early-Wisconsin to Holocene history preserved in our core for central Beringia. Yedoma accumulation dominated throughout the Early to Late-Wisconsin but was interrupted by wetland formation from 44.5 to 41.5 ka BP. The latter was terminated by the deposition of 1 m of volcanic tephra, most likely originating from the South Killeak Maar eruption at about 42 ka BP. Yedoma deposition continued until 22.5 ka BP and was followed by a depositional hiatus in the sediment core between 22.5 and 0.23 ka BP. We interpret this hiatus as due to intense thermokarst activity in the areas surrounding the site, which served as a sediment source during the Late-Wisconsin to Holocene climate transition. The lake forming the modern basin on the upland initiated around 0.23 ka BP and drained catastrophically in spring 2005. The present study emphasises that Arctic lake systems and periglacial landscapes are highly dynamic and that permafrost formation as well as degradation in central Beringia was controlled by regional to global climate patterns as well as by local disturbances.

  2. Spatial and temporal patterns of greenness on the Yamal Peninsula, Russia: interactions of ecological and social factors affecting the Arctic normalized difference vegetation index

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Walker, D A; Bhatt, U S; Raynolds, M K; Romanovsky, V E; Leibman, M O; Gubarkov, A A; Khomutov, A V; Moskalenko, N G; Orekhov, P; Ukraientseva, N G; Epstein, H E; Yu, Q; Forbes, B C; Kaarlejaervi, E; Comiso, J C; Jia, G J; Kaplan, J O; Kumpula, T; Kuss, P; Matyshak, G

    2009-01-01

    The causes of a greening trend detected in the Arctic using the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) are still poorly understood. Changes in NDVI are a result of multiple ecological and social factors that affect tundra net primary productivity. Here we use a 25 year time series of AVHRR-derived NDVI data (AVHRR: advanced very high resolution radiometer), climate analysis, a global geographic information database and ground-based studies to examine the spatial and temporal patterns of vegetation greenness on the Yamal Peninsula, Russia. We assess the effects of climate change, gas-field development, reindeer grazing and permafrost degradation. In contrast to the case for Arctic North America, there has not been a significant trend in summer temperature or NDVI, and much of the pattern of NDVI in this region is due to disturbances. There has been a 37% change in early-summer coastal sea-ice concentration, a 4% increase in summer land temperatures and a 7% change in the average time-integrated NDVI over the length of the satellite observations. Gas-field infrastructure is not currently extensive enough to affect regional NDVI patterns. The effect of reindeer is difficult to quantitatively assess because of the lack of control areas where reindeer are excluded. Many of the greenest landscapes on the Yamal are associated with landslides and drainage networks that have resulted from ongoing rapid permafrost degradation. A warming climate and enhanced winter snow are likely to exacerbate positive feedbacks between climate and permafrost thawing. We present a diagram that summarizes the social and ecological factors that influence Arctic NDVI. The NDVI should be viewed as a powerful monitoring tool that integrates the cumulative effect of a multitude of factors affecting Arctic land-cover change.

  3. Spatial and temporal patterns of greenness on the Yamal Peninsula, Russia: interactions of ecological and social factors affecting the Arctic normalized difference vegetation index

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Walker, D A; Bhatt, U S; Raynolds, M K; Romanovsky, V E [University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK (United States); Leibman, M O; Gubarkov, A A; Khomutov, A V; Moskalenko, N G; Orekhov, P; Ukraientseva, N G [Earth Cryosphere Institute, Russian Academy of Science, Siberian Branch, Tyumen (Russian Federation); Epstein, H E; Yu, Q [University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA (United States); Forbes, B C; Kaarlejaervi, E [Arctic Center, University of Lapland, Rovaniemi (Finland); Comiso, J C [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, MD (United States); Jia, G J [Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute for Atmospheric Physics, Beijing (China); Kaplan, J O [Swiss Federal Institute for Forest Snow and Landscape Research, Birmensdorf (Switzerland); Kumpula, T [University of Joensuu, Joensuu (Finland); Kuss, P [University of Berne, Berne (Switzerland); Matyshak, G [Moscow State University, Moscow (Russian Federation)

    2009-10-15

    The causes of a greening trend detected in the Arctic using the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) are still poorly understood. Changes in NDVI are a result of multiple ecological and social factors that affect tundra net primary productivity. Here we use a 25 year time series of AVHRR-derived NDVI data (AVHRR: advanced very high resolution radiometer), climate analysis, a global geographic information database and ground-based studies to examine the spatial and temporal patterns of vegetation greenness on the Yamal Peninsula, Russia. We assess the effects of climate change, gas-field development, reindeer grazing and permafrost degradation. In contrast to the case for Arctic North America, there has not been a significant trend in summer temperature or NDVI, and much of the pattern of NDVI in this region is due to disturbances. There has been a 37% change in early-summer coastal sea-ice concentration, a 4% increase in summer land temperatures and a 7% change in the average time-integrated NDVI over the length of the satellite observations. Gas-field infrastructure is not currently extensive enough to affect regional NDVI patterns. The effect of reindeer is difficult to quantitatively assess because of the lack of control areas where reindeer are excluded. Many of the greenest landscapes on the Yamal are associated with landslides and drainage networks that have resulted from ongoing rapid permafrost degradation. A warming climate and enhanced winter snow are likely to exacerbate positive feedbacks between climate and permafrost thawing. We present a diagram that summarizes the social and ecological factors that influence Arctic NDVI. The NDVI should be viewed as a powerful monitoring tool that integrates the cumulative effect of a multitude of factors affecting Arctic land-cover change.

  4. Methane Release and Pingo-Like Feature Across the South kara Sea Shels, an Area of Thawing Offshore Permafrost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serov, P.; Portnov, A.; Mienert, J.

    2015-12-01

    Thawing subsea permafrost controls methane release from the Russian Arctic shelf having a considerable impact on the climate-sensitive Arctic environment. Our recent studies revealed extensive gas release over an area of at least 7500 km2and presence of pingo-like features (PLFs), showing severe methane leakage, in the South Kara Sea in water depths >20m (Serov et al., 2015). Specifically, we detected shallow methane ebullition sites expressed in water column acoustic anomalies (gas flares and gas fronts) and areas of increased dissolved methane concentrations in bottom water, which might be sufficient sources of carbon for seawater-atmosphere exchange. A study of nature and source of leaking gas was focused on two PLFs, which are acoustically transparent circular mounds towering 5-9 m above the surrounding seafloor. One PLF (PLF 2) connects to biogenic gas from deeper sources, which is reflected in δ13CCH4 values ranging from -55,1‰ to -88,0‰ and δDCH4values varied from -175‰ to -246‰. Low organic matter content (0.52-1.69%) of seafloor sediments restricts extensive in situ methane production. The formation of PLF 2 is directly linked to the thawing of subsea permafrost and, possibly, decomposition of permafrost related gas hydrates. High accumulations of biogenic methane create the necessary forces to push the remaining frozen layers upwards and, therefore, form a topographic feature. We speculate that PLF 1, which shows ubiquitously low methane concentrations, is either a relict submerged terrestrial pingo, or a PLF lacking the necessary underlying methane accumulations. Our model of glacial-interglacial permafrost evolution supports a scenario in which subsea permafrost tapers seaward and pinches out at 20m isobaths, controlling observed methane emissions and development of PLFs. Serov. P., A. Portnov, J. Mienert, P. Semenov, and P. Ilatovskaya (2015), Methane release from pingo-like features across the South Kara Sea shelf, an area of thawnig

  5. Sensitivity of the carbon cycle in the Arctic to climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGuire, A. David; Anderson, Leif G.; Christensen, Torben R.; Dallimore, Scott; Guo, Laodong; Hayes, Daniel J.; Heimann, Martin; Lorenson, T.D.; Macdonald, Robie W.; Roulet, Nigel

    2009-01-01

    The recent warming in the Arctic is affecting a broad spectrum of physical, ecological, and human/cultural systems that may be irreversible on century time scales and have the potential to cause rapid changes in the earth system. The response of the carbon cycle of the Arctic to changes in climate is a major issue of global concern, yet there has not been a comprehensive review of the status of the contemporary carbon cycle of the Arctic and its response to climate change. This review is designed to clarify key uncertainties and vulnerabilities in the response of the carbon cycle of the Arctic to ongoing climatic change. While it is clear that there are substantial stocks of carbon in the Arctic, there are also significant uncertainties associated with the magnitude of organic matter stocks contained in permafrost and the storage of methane hydrates beneath both subterranean and submerged permafrost of the Arctic. In the context of the global carbon cycle, this review demonstrates that the Arctic plays an important role in the global dynamics of both CO2 and CH4. Studies suggest that the Arctic has been a sink for atmospheric CO2 of between 0 and 0.8 Pg C/yr in recent decades, which is between 0% and 25% of the global net land/ocean flux during the 1990s. The Arctic is a substantial source of CH4 to the atmosphere (between 32 and 112 Tg CH4/yr), primarily because of the large area of wetlands throughout the region. Analyses to date indicate that the sensitivity of the carbon cycle of the Arctic during the remainder of the 21st century is highly uncertain. To improve the capability to assess the sensitivity of the carbon cycle of the Arctic to projected climate change, we recommend that (1) integrated regional studies be conducted to link observations of carbon dynamics to the processes that are likely to influence those dynamics, and (2) the understanding gained from these integrated studies be incorporated into both uncoupled and fully coupled carbon

  6. Carbon loss from an unprecedented Arctic tundra wildfire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michelle C. Mack; M. Syndonia Bret-Harte; Teresa N. Hollingsworth; Randi R. Jandt; Edward A.G. Schuur; Gaius R. Shaver; David L. Verbyla

    2011-01-01

    Arctic tundra soils store large amounts of carbon (C) in organic soil layers hundreds to thousands of years old that insulate, and in some cases maintain, permafrost soils. Fire has been largely absent from most of this biome since the early Holocene epoch, but its frequency and extent are increasing, probably in response to climate warming. The effect of fires on the...

  7. Application of a Bayesian belief network for assessing the vulnerability of permafrost to thaw and implications for greenhouse gas production and climate feedback

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Webster, K.L.; McLaughlin, J.W.

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • Permafrost areas are subject to accelerated rates of climate change leading to thaw. • Thaw will increase decomposition rates, exacerbating climate feedback. • We present a Bayesian belief network as a tool to examine interacting factors. • Organic soil (Hudson Plain region) and mineral soil (Arctic region) are contrasted. • Hudson Plain has contributed more to climate feedback than Arctic, but gap closing. - Abstract: Permafrost affected soils are an important component of the Boreal, Subarctic, and Arctic ecosystems of Canada. These areas are undergoing accelerated rates of climate change and have been identified as being at high risk for thaw. Thaw will expose soil to warmer conditions that support increased decomposition rates, which in turn will affect short- and long-term carbon storage capacity and result in feedback to global climate. We present a tool in the form of a Bayesian belief network influence diagram that will allow policymakers and managers to understand how interacting factors contribute to permafrost thaw and resulting effects on greenhouse gas (GHG) production and climate feedback. A theoretical example of expected responses from an organic soil typical of the Hudson Plain region and a mineral soil typical in the Arctic region demonstrate variability in responses across different combinations of climate and soil conditions within Canada. Based on the network results, the Arctic has historically had higher probability of thaw, but the Hudson Plain has had higher probability of producing carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) and methane (CH 4 ). Under past and current climate conditions, the Hudson Plain has, on a per unit area basis, contributed more to climate feedback than the Arctic. However, the gap in contribution between the two regions is likely to decrease as thaw progresses more rapidly in the Arctic than Hudson Plain region, resulting in strong positive feedback to climate warming from both regions. The flexible framework

  8. Multimolecular tracers of terrestrial carbon transfer across the pan-Arctic: 14C characteristics of sedimentary carbon components and their environmental controls

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Xiaojuan; Gustafsson, Örjan; Holmes, R. Max; Vonk, Jorien E.; van Dongen, Bart E.; Semiletov, Igor P.; Dudarev, Oleg V.; Yunker, Mark B.; Macdonald, Robie W.; Wacker, Lukas; Montluçon, Daniel B.; Eglinton, Timothy I.

    2015-11-01

    Distinguishing the sources, ages, and fate of various terrestrial organic carbon (OC) pools mobilized from heterogeneous Arctic landscapes is key to assessing climatic impacts on the fluvial release of carbon from permafrost. Through molecular 14C measurements, including novel analyses of suberin- and/or cutin-derived diacids (DAs) and hydroxy fatty acids (FAs), we compared the radiocarbon characteristics of a comprehensive suite of terrestrial markers (including plant wax lipids, cutin, suberin, lignin, and hydroxy phenols) in the sedimentary particles from nine major arctic and subarctic rivers in order to establish a benchmark assessment of the mobilization patterns of terrestrial OC pools across the pan-Arctic. Terrestrial lipids, including suberin-derived longer-chain DAs (C24,26,28), plant wax FAs (C24,26,28), and n-alkanes (C27,29,31), incorporated significant inputs of aged carbon, presumably from deeper soil horizons. Mobilization and translocation of these "old" terrestrial carbon components was dependent on nonlinear processes associated with permafrost distributions. By contrast, shorter-chain (C16,18) DAs and lignin phenols (as well as hydroxy phenols in rivers outside eastern Eurasian Arctic) were much more enriched in 14C, suggesting incorporation of relatively young carbon supplied by runoff processes from recent vegetation debris and surface layers. Furthermore, the radiocarbon content of terrestrial markers is heavily influenced by specific OC sources and degradation status. Overall, multitracer molecular 14C analysis sheds new light on the mobilization of terrestrial OC from arctic watersheds. Our findings of distinct ages for various terrestrial carbon components may aid in elucidating fate of different terrestrial OC pools in the face of increasing arctic permafrost thaw.

  9. Applying GIPL2.0 Model to assess the permafrost dynamics on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, T.

    2017-12-01

    The modeling of active layer and permafrost distribution is of great importance to understand the permafrost dynamics of cold regions, especially in those regions where are difficult to approach such as the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP). In this study we have applied the Geophysical Institute Permafrost Lab model (GIPL2.0) to estimate the active layer thickness and assess the permafrost thermal regime on the QTP. The GIPL 2.0 have been widely applied in the Arctic regions of Alaska, however less on the QTP. The model has been calibrated according to the four active layer in-situ measurement sites which have different underlying surface and soil characteristics. We extended the original GIPL2 model depth to the depth of 18 m. After the calibration of the GIPL2.0 at those four sites, the first-hand single point model is expanded to a regional model. The key permafrost parameters were simulated, including active layer thickness (ALT), mean annual ground temperature (MAGT) at multiple soil layers, and the permafrost classification was also carried out in order to study the permafrost the thermal stability across the QTP. To validate the performance of expanded regional-GIPL2 model, we compare simulated ALT and MAGT at the depth of zero annual amplitude (DZAA) with observed data. It is demonstrated that the modifications regional-GIPL2 model are able to improve the accuracy of permafrost thermal regime simulations greatly on the QTP. The simulated ALT are generally underestimate the observed ones with the MBE value of -0.14 m and the RMSE value of 0.22 m. For the MAGT at the DZAA of all 51 sites, the simulation errors range from - 0.9 ° to 0.9 ° with the RMSE value of 0.41 °. For the whole permafrost area of the QTP, the simulated ALT ranges from 0 to 8 m, with an average of 2.30 m. The simulated results indicate that most of regions were underlain by the sub-stable permafrost and less regions were underlain by the extremely stable permafrost.

  10. How Rapid Change Affects Deltas in the Arctic Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Overeem, I.; Bendixen, M.

    2017-12-01

    Deltas form where the river drains into the ocean. Consequently, delta depositional processes are impacted by either changes in the respective river drainage basin or by changes in the regional marine environment. In a warming Arctic region rapid change has occurred over the last few decades in both the terrestrial domain as well as in the marine domain. Important terrestrial controls include 1) change in permafrost possibly destabilizing river banks, 2) strong seasonality of river discharge due to a short melting season, 3) high sediment supply if basins are extensively glaciated, 4) lake outbursts and ice jams favoring river flooding. Whereas in the Arctic marine domain sea ice loss promotes wave and storm surge impact, and increased longshore transport. We here ask which of these factors dominate any morphological change in Arctic deltas. First, we analyze hydrological data to assess change in Arctic-wide river discharge characteristics and timing, and sea ice concentration data to map changes in sea ice regime. Based on this observational analysis we set up a number of scenarios of change. We then model hypothetical small-scale delta formation considering change in these primary controls by setting up a numerical delta model, and combining it dynamically with a permafrost model. We find that for typical Greenlandic deltas changes in river forcing due to ice sheet melt dominate the morphological change, which is corroborated by mapping of delta progradation from aerial photos and satellite imagery. Whereas in other areas, along the North Slope and the Canadian Arctic small deltas are more stable or experienced retreat. Our preliminary coupled model allows us to further disentangle the impact of major forcing factors on delta evolution in high-latitude systems.

  11. Assessing and Projecting Greenhouse Gas Release due to Abrupt Permafrost Degradation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saito, K.; Ohno, H.; Yokohata, T.; Iwahana, G.; Machiya, H.

    2017-12-01

    Permafrost is a large reservoir of frozen soil organic carbon (SOC; about half of all the terrestrial storage). Therefore, its degradation (i.e., thawing) under global warming may lead to a substantial amount of additional greenhouse gas (GHG) release. However, understanding of the processes, geographical distribution of such hazards, and implementation of the relevant processes in the advanced climate models are insufficient yet so that variations in permafrost remains one of the large source of uncertainty in climatic and biogeochemical assessment and projections. Thermokarst, induced by melting of ground ice in ice-rich permafrost, leads to dynamic surface subsidence up to 60 m, which further affects local and regional societies and eco-systems in the Arctic. It can also accelerate a large-scale warming process through a positive feedback between released GHGs (especially methane), atmospheric warming and permafrost degradation. This three-year research project (2-1605, Environment Research and Technology Development Fund of the Ministry of the Environment, Japan) aims to assess and project the impacts of GHG release through dynamic permafrost degradation through in-situ and remote (e.g., satellite and airborn) observations, lab analysis of sampled ice and soil cores, and numerical modeling, by demonstrating the vulnerability distribution and relative impacts between large-scale degradation and such dynamic degradation. Our preliminary laboratory analysis of ice and soil cores sampled in 2016 at the Alaskan and Siberian sites largely underlain by ice-rich permafrost, shows that, although gas volumes trapped in unit mass are more or less homogenous among sites both for ice and soil cores, large variations are found in the methane concentration in the trapped gases, ranging from a few ppm (similar to that of the atmosphere) to hundreds of thousands ppm We will also present our numerical approach to evaluate relative impacts of GHGs released through dynamic

  12. METHANE HYDRATE PRODUCTION FROM ALASKAN PERMAFROST

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Richard Sigal; Kent Newsham; Thomas Williams; Barry Freifeld; Timothy Kneafsey; Carl Sondergeld; Shandra Rai; Jonathan Kwan; Stephen Kirby; Robert Kleinberg; Doug Griffin

    2005-02-01

    Natural-gas hydrates have been encountered beneath the permafrost and considered a nuisance by the oil and gas industry for years. Engineers working in Russia, Canada and the USA have documented numerous drilling problems, including kicks and uncontrolled gas releases, in arctic regions. Information has been generated in laboratory studies pertaining to the extent, volume, chemistry and phase behavior of gas hydrates. Scientists studying hydrate potential agree that the potential is great--on the North Slope of Alaska alone, it has been estimated at 590 TCF. However, little information has been obtained on physical samples taken from actual rock containing hydrates. The work scope drilled and cored a well The Hot Ice No. 1 on Anadarko leases beginning in FY 2003 and completed in 2004. An on-site core analysis laboratory was built and utilized for determining the physical characteristics of the hydrates and surrounding rock. The well was drilled from a new Anadarko Arctic Platform that has a minimal footprint and environmental impact. The final efforts of the project are to correlate geology, geophysics, logs, and drilling and production data and provide this information to scientists developing reservoir models. No gas hydrates were encountered in this well; however, a wealth of information was generated and is contained in this report. The Hot Ice No. 1 well was drilled from the surface to a measured depth of 2300 ft. There was almost 100% core recovery from the bottom of surface casing at 107 ft to total depth. Based on the best estimate of the bottom of the methane hydrate stability zone (which used new data obtained from Hot Ice No. 1 and new analysis of data from adjacent wells), core was recovered over its complete range. Approximately 580 ft of porous, mostly frozen, sandstone and 155 of conglomerate were recovered in the Ugnu Formation and approximately 215 ft of porous sandstone were recovered in the West Sak Formation. There were gas shows in the bottom

  13. InSAR observation of seasonal ground surface deformation in permafrost area near Batagay, Siberia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanagiya, K.; Furuya, M.

    2017-12-01

    Thawing of permafrost can lead to ground deformation. Ground deformation has been studied as a serious problem in the Arctic Ocean coastal area such as Russia for a long time, because the deformation causes damage to architectures at these areas. However, there have been no quantitative observation data, and the spatial and temporal distributions have hardly been investigated. On the other hand, by the recently global warming influence, the importance of organic carbon stored in permafrost is pointed out. Although the release of methane gas is confirmed in some thermokarst lakes, it is very difficult to observe the permafrost in a wide area by field study. Instead, it is technically possible to monitor the subsidence and uplift of the ground over the permafrost area, which could potentially make a significant contribution to the monitoring thawing process of permafrost. In this study, we attempted to detect ground deformation signal in permafrost area by remote sensing using interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR). Using the data of two SAR satellites ALOS and ALOS2 launched by JAXA, we observed recent ground deformation from 2007 to 2016. Particularly recent observations of ALOS2 from 2014 to 2016 discovered distant displacements towards the LOS direction in the northeast region from the town of Batagay,Siberia. The diameter of the displacements area covers about 7.7 km. In this study, we considered that this signal is likely to be due to permafrost thawing, we also investigated the seasonal characteristics and looked back ALOS data of this area. In addition, since the high latitude area, observation results include noise due to the ionosphere, so we tried to remove the noise.

  14. Permafrost and climate in Europe: Monitoring and modelling thermal, geomorphological and geotechnical responses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Charles; Arenson, Lukas U.; Christiansen, Hanne H.; Etzelmüller, Bernd; Frauenfelder, Regula; Gruber, Stephan; Haeberli, Wilfried; Hauck, Christian; Hölzle, Martin; Humlum, Ole; Isaksen, Ketil; Kääb, Andreas; Kern-Lütschg, Martina A.; Lehning, Michael; Matsuoka, Norikazu; Murton, Julian B.; Nötzli, Jeanette; Phillips, Marcia; Ross, Neil; Seppälä, Matti; Springman, Sarah M.; Vonder Mühll, Daniel

    2009-02-01

    We present a review of the changing state of European permafrost within a spatial zone that includes the continuous high latitude arctic permafrost of Svalbard and the discontinuous high altitude mountain permafrost of Iceland, Fennoscandia and the Alps. The paper focuses on methodological developments and data collection over the last decade or so, including research associated with the continent-scale network of instrumented permafrost boreholes established between 1998 and 2001 under the European Union PACE project. Data indicate recent warming trends, with greatest warming at higher latitudes. Equally important are the impacts of shorter-term extreme climatic events, most immediately reflected in changes in active layer thickness. A large number of complex variables, including altitude, topography, insolation and snow distribution, determine permafrost temperatures. The development of regionally calibrated empirical-statistical models, and physically based process-oriented models, is described, and it is shown that, though more complex and data dependent, process-oriented approaches are better suited to estimating transient effects of climate change in complex mountain topography. Mapping and characterisation of permafrost depth and distribution requires integrated multiple geophysical approaches and recent advances are discussed. We report on recent research into ground ice formation, including ice segregation within bedrock and vein ice formation within ice wedge systems. The potential impacts of climate change on rock weathering, permafrost creep, landslides, rock falls, debris flows and slow mass movements are also discussed. Recent engineering responses to the potentially damaging effects of climate warming are outlined, and risk assessment strategies to minimise geological hazards are described. We conclude that forecasting changes in hazard occurrence, magnitude and frequency is likely to depend on process-based modelling, demanding improved

  15. Shifting balance of thermokarst lake ice regimes across the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arp, Christopher D.; Jones, Benjamin M.; Lu, Zong; Whitman, Matthew S.

    2012-01-01

    The balance of thermokarst lakes with bedfast- and floating-ice regimes across Arctic lowlands regulates heat storage, permafrost thaw, winter-water supply, and over-wintering aquatic habitat. Using a time-series of late-winter synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery to distinguish lake ice regimes in two regions of the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska from 2003–2011, we found that 18% of the lakes had intermittent ice regimes, varying between bedfast-ice and floating-ice conditions. Comparing this dataset with a radar-based lake classification from 1980 showed that 16% of the bedfast-ice lakes had shifted to floating-ice regimes. A simulated lake ice thinning trend of 1.5 cm/yr since 1978 is believed to be the primary factor driving this form of lake change. The most profound impacts of this regime shift in Arctic lakes may be an increase in the landscape-scale thermal offset created by additional lake heat storage and its role in talik development in otherwise continuous permafrost as well as increases in over-winter aquatic habitat and winter-water supply.

  16. Biomass offsets little or none of permafrost carbon release from soils, streams, and wildfire: an expert assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benjamin W Abbott; Jeremy B Jones; Edward A G Schuur; F Stuart Chapin III; William B Bowden; M Syndonia Bret-Harte; Howard E Epstein; Michael D Flannigan; Tamara K Harms; Teresa N Hollingsworth; Michelle C Mack; A David McGuire; Susan M Natali; Adrian V Rocha; Suzanne E Tank; Merritt R Turetsky; Jorien E Vonk; Kimberly P Wickland; George R Aiken; Heather D Alexander; Rainer M W Amon; Brian W Benscoter; Yves Bergeron; Kevin Bishop; Olivier Blarquez; Amy L Breen; Ishi Buffam; Yihua Cai; Christopher Carcaillet; Sean K Carey; Jing M Chen; Han Y H Chen; Torben R Christensen; Lee W Cooper; J Hans C Cornelissen; William J de Groot; Thomas H DeLuca; Ellen Dorrepaal; Ned Fetcher; Jacques C Finlay; Bruce C Forbes; Nancy H F French; Sylvie Gauthier; Martin P Girardin; Scott J Goetz; Johann G Goldammer; Laura Gough; Paul Grogan; Laodong Guo; Philip E Higuera; Larry Hinzman; Feng Sheng Hu; Gustaf Hugelius; Elchin E Jafarov; Randi Jandt; Jill F Johnstone; Eric S Kasischke; Gerhard Kattner; Ryan Kelly; Frida Keuper; George W Kling; Pirkko Kortelainen; Jari Kouki; Peter Kuhry; Hjalmar Laudon; Isabelle Laurion; Robie W Macdonald; Paul J Mann; Pertti J Martikainen; James W McClelland; Ulf Molau; Steven F Oberbauer; David Olefeldt; David Par??; Marc-Andr?? Parisien; Serge Payette; Changhui Peng; Oleg S Pokrovsky; Edward B Rastetter; Peter A Raymond; Martha K Raynolds; Guillermo Rein; James F Reynolds; Martin Robards; Brendan M Rogers; Christina Sch??del; Kevin Schaefer; Inger K Schmidt; Anatoly Shvidenko; Jasper Sky; Robert G M Spencer; Gregory Starr; Robert G Striegl; Roman Teisserenc; Lars J Tranvik; Tarmo Virtanen; Jeffrey M Welker; Sergei Zimov

    2016-01-01

    As the permafrost region warms, its large organic carbon pool will be increasingly vulnerable to decomposition, combustion, and hydrologic export. Models predict that some portion of this release will be offset by increased production of Arctic and boreal biomass; however, the lack of robust estimates of net carbon balance increases the risk of further overshooting...

  17. Proceedings of the ice scour and Arctic marine pipelines workshop

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1998-11-01

    This conference was organized to discuss the challenges facing engineers in Arctic offshore oil and gas operations, particularly those dealing with the design, installation and operation of offshore pipelines. Adding to the usual engineering considerations, formidable enough in themselves, Arctic offshore pipelines also face constraints due to permafrost, ice cover, and ice scouring from icebergs. In addition to an examinations of the roles played by these constraints, the forces and deformation mechanisms experienced by different soils during ice scouring events, modeling the scouring process and the application of models to the issue of pipeline burial and protection were other topics that were addressed by various speakers. Some of the regulatory concerns regarding issues for Arctic pipelines were also discussed. refs., tabs., figs.

  18. Detecting the permafrost carbon feedback: talik formation and increased cold-season respiration as precursors to sink-to-source transitions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parazoo, Nicholas C.; Koven, Charles D.; Lawrence, David M.; Romanovsky, Vladimir; Miller, Charles E.

    2018-01-01

    Thaw and release of permafrost carbon (C) due to climate change is likely to offset increased vegetation C uptake in northern high-latitude (NHL) terrestrial ecosystems. Models project that this permafrost C feedback may act as a slow leak, in which case detection and attribution of the feedback may be difficult. The formation of talik, a subsurface layer of perennially thawed soil, can accelerate permafrost degradation and soil respiration, ultimately shifting the C balance of permafrost-affected ecosystems from long-term C sinks to long-term C sources. It is imperative to understand and characterize mechanistic links between talik, permafrost thaw, and respiration of deep soil C to detect and quantify the permafrost C feedback. Here, we use the Community Land Model (CLM) version 4.5, a permafrost and biogeochemistry model, in comparison to long-term deep borehole data along North American and Siberian transects, to investigate thaw-driven C sources in NHL ( > 55° N) from 2000 to 2300. Widespread talik at depth is projected across most of the NHL permafrost region (14 million km2) by 2300, 6.2 million km2 of which is projected to become a long-term C source, emitting 10 Pg C by 2100, 50 Pg C by 2200, and 120 Pg C by 2300, with few signs of slowing. Roughly half of the projected C source region is in predominantly warm sub-Arctic permafrost following talik onset. This region emits only 20 Pg C by 2300, but the CLM4.5 estimate may be biased low by not accounting for deep C in yedoma. Accelerated decomposition of deep soil C following talik onset shifts the ecosystem C balance away from surface dominant processes (photosynthesis and litter respiration), but sink-to-source transition dates are delayed by 20-200 years by high ecosystem productivity, such that talik peaks early ( ˜ 2050s, although borehole data suggest sooner) and C source transition peaks late ( ˜ 2150-2200). The remaining C source region in cold northern Arctic permafrost, which shifts to a net

  19. An energy efficient building for the Arctic climate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vladyková, Petra

    through the building envelope in the winter due to the pressure difference, strong winds and low water ratio in the outdoor air. The Arctic is also defined by different conditions such as building techniques and availability of the materials and energy supply. The passive house uses the basic idea......The Arctic is climatically very different from a temperate climate. In the Arctic regions, the ambient temperature reaches extreme values and it has a direct large impact on the heat loss through the building envelope and it creates problems with the foundation due to the permafrost. The solar...... influence the infiltration heat loss through the building envelope. The wind patterns have large influences on the local microclimate around the building and create the snowdrift and problems with thawing, icing and possible condensation in the building envelope. The humidity in the interior is driven out...

  20. Biological Chlorine Cycling in Arctic Peat Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zlamal, J. E.; Raab, T. K.; Lipson, D.

    2014-12-01

    Soils of the Arctic tundra near Barrow, Alaska are waterlogged and anoxic throughout most of the profile due to underlying permafrost. Microbial communities in these soils are adapted for the dominant anaerobic conditions and are capable of a surprising diversity of metabolic pathways. Anaerobic respiration in this environment warrants further study, particularly in the realm of electron cycling involving chlorine, which preliminary data suggest may play an important role in arctic anaerobic soil respiration. For decades, Cl was rarely studied outside of the context of solvent-contaminated sites due to the widely held belief that it is an inert element. However, Cl has increasingly become recognized as a metabolic player in microbial communities and soil cycling processes. Organic chlorinated compounds (Clorg) can be made by various organisms and used metabolically by others, such as serving as electron acceptors for microbes performing organohalide respiration. Sequencing our arctic soil samples has uncovered multiple genera of microorganisms capable of participating in many Cl-cycling processes including organohalide respiration, chlorinated hydrocarbon degradation, and perchlorate reduction. Metagenomic analysis of these soils has revealed genes for key enzymes of Cl-related metabolic processes such as dehalogenases and haloperoxidases, and close matches to genomes of known organohalide respiring microorganisms from the Dehalococcoides, Dechloromonas, Carboxydothermus, and Anaeromyxobacter genera. A TOX-100 Chlorine Analyzer was used to quantify total Cl in arctic soils, and these data were examined further to separate levels of inorganic Cl compounds and Clorg. Levels of Clorg increased with soil organic matter content, although total Cl levels lack this trend. X-ray Absorption Near Edge Structure (XANES) was used to provide information on the structure of Clorg in arctic soils, showing great diversity with Cl bound to both aromatic and alkyl groups

  1. Hydrology of the North Klondike River: carbon export, water balance and inter-annual climate influences within a sub-alpine permafrost catchment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lapp, Anthony; Clark, Ian; Macumber, Andrew; Patterson, Tim

    2017-10-01

    Arctic and sub-arctic watersheds are undergoing significant changes due to recent climate warming and degrading permafrost, engendering enhanced monitoring of arctic rivers. Smaller catchments provide understanding of discharge, solute flux and groundwater recharge at the process level that contributes to an understanding of how larger arctic watersheds are responding to climate change. The North Klondike River, located in west central Yukon, is a sub-alpine permafrost catchment, which maintains an active hydrological monitoring station with a record of >40 years. In addition to being able to monitor intra-annual variability, this data set allows for more complex analysis of streamflow records. Streamflow data, geochemistry and stable isotope data for 2014 show a groundwater-dominated system, predominantly recharged during periods of snowmelt. Radiocarbon is shown to be a valuable tracer of soil zone recharge processes and carbon sources. Winter groundwater baseflow contributes 20 % of total annual discharge, and accounts for up to 50 % of total river discharge during the spring and summer months. Although total stream discharge remains unchanged, mean annual groundwater baseflow has increased over the 40-year monitoring period. Wavelet analysis reveals a catchment that responds to El Niño and longer solar cycles, as well as climatic shifts such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Dedicated to Professor Peter Fritz on the occasion of his 80th birthday.

  2. Fungal palaeodiversity revealed using high-throughput metabarcoding of ancient DNA from arctic permafrost

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bellemain, Eva; Davey, Marie L.; Kauserud, Håvard

    2013-01-01

    The taxonomic and ecological diversity of ancient fungal communities was assessed by combining next generation sequencing and metabarcoding of DNA preserved in permafrost. Twenty-six sediment samples dated 16000-32000 radiocarbon years old from two localities in Siberia were analysed for fungal ITS...

  3. Bridging arctic pathways: Integrating hydrology, geomorphology and remote sensing in the north

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trochim, Erin D.

    to differentiate landscape features versus the increase in variability when using NDVI for LAI calculations. The application of geophysical methods for permafrost characterization in Arctic road design and engineering was explored for a range of conditions including gravel river bars, burned tussock tundra and ice-wedge polygons. Interpretations were based on a combination of Direct-current resistivity - electrical resistivity tomography (DCR-ERT), cryostratigraphic information via boreholes and geospatial (aerial photographs & digital elevation models) data. The resistivity data indicated the presence/absence of permafrost; location and depth of massive ground ice; and in some conditions changes in ice content. The placement of the boreholes strongly influenced how geophysical data can be interpreted for permafrost conditions and should be carefully considered during data collection strategies.

  4. Polar politics : sovereignty tussles over Arctic territory threaten to impede oil and gas exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lorenz, A.W.

    2007-01-01

    Competition to secure oil and gas leases is concerning scientists who believe that the exploitation of mineral resources in the Arctic will damage the region faster than climate change. Scientists in the region have noted that hydrogen sulphide induced by sulphur-oxidizing bacteria are now thriving within glaciers in the Arctic. Imperial Oil and ExxonMobil Canada recently purchased 205,000 hectares in the Beaufort Sea, and the purchase is seen as a harbinger of further development in the region. Disputes between Canada and the United States are now beginning to cause controversy in the region. Climatic change may mean that the region will be ice-free in 50 years. Climatic change will also result in the destabilization of permafrost and in rises in sea levels. Melting of permafrost could cause subsidence and further difficulties for exploration engineers. If Canada is not able to convince the United Nations that the Northwest Passage constitutes internal waters, the environmental impacts of Russian resource development could be profound. In addition, offshore boundaries between the Yukon and Alaska are interpreted differently by Canadians and Americans. It was suggested that discussions are needed to ensure Canada's role in the Arctic. 2 figs

  5. Improving permafrost distribution modelling using feature selection algorithms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deluigi, Nicola; Lambiel, Christophe; Kanevski, Mikhail

    2016-04-01

    The availability of an increasing number of spatial data on the occurrence of mountain permafrost allows the employment of machine learning (ML) classification algorithms for modelling the distribution of the phenomenon. One of the major problems when dealing with high-dimensional dataset is the number of input features (variables) involved. Application of ML classification algorithms to this large number of variables leads to the risk of overfitting, with the consequence of a poor generalization/prediction. For this reason, applying feature selection (FS) techniques helps simplifying the amount of factors required and improves the knowledge on adopted features and their relation with the studied phenomenon. Moreover, taking away irrelevant or redundant variables from the dataset effectively improves the quality of the ML prediction. This research deals with a comparative analysis of permafrost distribution models supported by FS variable importance assessment. The input dataset (dimension = 20-25, 10 m spatial resolution) was constructed using landcover maps, climate data and DEM derived variables (altitude, aspect, slope, terrain curvature, solar radiation, etc.). It was completed with permafrost evidences (geophysical and thermal data and rock glacier inventories) that serve as training permafrost data. Used FS algorithms informed about variables that appeared less statistically important for permafrost presence/absence. Three different algorithms were compared: Information Gain (IG), Correlation-based Feature Selection (CFS) and Random Forest (RF). IG is a filter technique that evaluates the worth of a predictor by measuring the information gain with respect to the permafrost presence/absence. Conversely, CFS is a wrapper technique that evaluates the worth of a subset of predictors by considering the individual predictive ability of each variable along with the degree of redundancy between them. Finally, RF is a ML algorithm that performs FS as part of its

  6. Leveraging Subsidence in Permafrost with Remotely Sensed Active Layer Thickness (ReSALT) Products

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaefer, K. M.; Chen, A.; Chen, J.; Chen, R. H.; Liu, L.; Michaelides, R. J.; Moghaddam, M.; Parsekian, A.; Tabatabaeenejad, A.; Thompson, J. A.; Zebker, H. A.; Meyer, F. J.

    2017-12-01

    The Remotely Sensed Active Layer Thickness (ReSALT) product uses the Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) technique to measure ground subsidence in permafrost regions. Seasonal subsidence results from the expansion of soil water into ice as the surface soil or active layer freezes and thaws each year. Subsidence trends result from large-scale thaw of permafrost and from the melting and subsequent drainage of excess ground ice in permafrost-affected soils. The attached figure shows the 2006-2010 average seasonal subsidence from ReSALT around Barrow, Alaska. The average active layer thickness (the maximum surface thaw depth during summer) is 30-40 cm, resulting in an average seasonal subsidence of 1-3 cm. Analysis of the seasonal subsidence and subsidence trends provides valuable insights into important permafrost processes, such as the freeze/thaw of the active layer, large-scale thawing due to climate change, the impact of fire, and infrastructure vulnerability. ReSALT supports the Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE) field campaign in Alaska and northwest Canada and is a precursor for a potential NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) product. ReSALT includes uncertainties for all parameters and is validated against in situ measurements from the Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring (CALM) network, Ground Penetrating Radar and mechanical probe measurements. Here we present examples of ReSALT products in Alaska to highlight the untapped potential of the InSAR technique to understand permafrost dynamics, with a strong emphasis on the underlying processes that drive the subsidence.

  7. National Atlas of Arctic: structure and creation approaches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. S. Kasimov

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available On the instructions of President and Government of the Russian Federation, works for development of National Atlas of Arctic are started in the country. In this article the authors present their ideas from viewpoint of geographers who are well experienced in the field of cartographic works. A structure of future Atlas and lines of approaches to its development are proposed. The totality of experiences of preparation of other geographical atlases in both, the USSR and Russia, as well as the latest achievements of cartography, aerospace sources and GIS-technologies are recommended to be used. The National Atlas of Arctic is understood as a collection of knowledge of spatial-temporal information about geographical, ecological, economic, historical-ethnographic, cultural and social features of the Arctic. This cartographic model of the territory is designed for using in a wide range of scientific, managing, economic, defensive and social activities. A hard copy of the atlas is intended to be used as scientific-reference publication while its electronic version will make it possible to renovate its content and to improve it by means of actualization according to various directions of its practical use 16 sections proposed in a draft of the Atlas content are as follows: introductory, geological structure, relief, mineral resources, environment evolution, climate, land waters, seas, seashores, snow cover, glaciers, permafrost, soils, flora and fauna, state of the environment and the Nature protection, population, economics, and prospects for future. The popular-scientific edition of the Atlas is intended for use by wide circle of readers and also as a textbook for all levels of education. Presentation of material in the Atlas should combine a high scientific level and accessible language. In a popular form it will clarify traditions of careful treatment to the Nature and the nature-protective ethics of religious confessions of local people

  8. Glacial-interglacial variations of microbial communities in permafrost and lake deposits in the Siberian Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mangelsdorf, Kai; Bischoff, Juliane; Gattinger, Andreas; Wagner, Dirk

    2013-04-01

    The Artic regions are expected to be very sensitive to the currently observed climate change. When permafrost is thawing, the stored carbon becomes available again for microbial degradation, forming a potential source for the generation of carbon dioxide and methane with their positive feedback effect on the climate warming. For the prediction of future climate evolution it is, therefore, important to improve our knowledge about the microbial-driven greenhouse gas dynamics in the Siberian Arctic and their response to glacial-interglacial changes in the past. Sample material was drilled on Kurungnahk Island (Russian-German LENA expedition) located in the southern part of the Lena delta and in lake El'gygytgyn (ICDP-project) in the eastern part of Siberia. The Kurungnahk samples comprise Late Pleistocene to Holocene deposits, whereas the lake El'gygytgyn samples cover Middle to Late Pleistocene sediments. Samples were investigated applying a combined biogeochemical and microbiological approach. The methane profile of the Kurungnahk core reveals highest methane contents in the warm and wet Holocene and Late Pleistocene (LP) deposits and correlates largly to the organic carbon (TOC) contents. Archaeol concentrations, being a biomarker for past methanogenic archaea, are also high during the warm and wet Holocene and LP intervals and low during the cold and dry LP periods. This indicates that part of the methane might be produced and trapped in the past. However, biomarkers for living microorganisms (bacteria and archaea) and microbial activity measurements of methanogens point, especially, for the Holocene to a viable archaeal community, indicating a possible in-situ methane production. Furthermore, warm/wet-cold/dry climate cycles are recorded in the archaeal diversity as revealed by genetic fingerprint analysis. Although the overlying lake water buffers the temperature effect on the lake sediments, which never became permafrost, the bacterial and archaeal biomarker

  9. Discovery and characterization of submarine groundwater discharge in the Siberian Arctic seas: A case study in Buor-Khaya Gulf, Laptev Sea

    OpenAIRE

    Charkin, Alexander N.; Rutgers van der Loeff, Michiel; Shakhova, Natalia E.; Gustafsson, Örjan; Dudarev, Oleg V.; Cherepnev, Maxim S.; Salyuk, Anatoly N.; Koshurnikov, Andrey V.; Spivak, Eduard A.; Gunar, Alexey Y.; Semiletov, Igor P.

    2017-01-01

    It has been suggested that increasing freshwater discharge to the Arctic Ocean may also occur as submarine groundwater discharge (SGD), yet there are no direct observations of this phenomenon in the Arctic shelf seas. This study tests the hypothesis that SGD does exist in the Siberian-Arctic shelf seas but its dynamics may be largely controlled by complicated geocryological conditions such as permafrost. The field-observational approach in the southeast Laptev Sea used a combination of hydrol...

  10. Dissolved organic carbon loss from Yedoma permafrost amplified by ice wedge thaw

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vonk, J E; Mann, P J; Spencer, R G M; Bulygina, E B; Holmes, R M; Dowdy, K L; Davydova, A; Davydov, S P; Zimov, N; Eglinton, T I

    2013-01-01

    Pleistocene Yedoma permafrost contains nearly a third of all organic matter (OM) stored in circum-arctic permafrost and is characterized by the presence of massive ice wedges. Due to its rapid formation by sediment accumulation and subsequent frozen storage, Yedoma OM is relatively well preserved and highly biologically available (biolabile) upon thaw. A better understanding of the processes regulating Yedoma degradation is important to improve estimates of the response and magnitude of permafrost carbon feedbacks to climate warming. In this study, we examine the composition of ice wedges and the influence of ice wedge thaw on the biolability of Yedoma OM. Incubation assays were used to assess OM biolability, fluorescence spectroscopy to characterize the OM composition, and potential enzyme activity rates to examine the controls and regulation of OM degradation. We show that increasing amounts of ice wedge melt water in Yedoma-leached incubations enhanced the loss of dissolved OM over time. This may be attributed to the presence of low-molecular weight compounds and low initial phenolic content in the OM of ice wedges, providing a readily available substrate that promotes the degradation of Yedoma OC. The physical vulnerability of ice wedges upon thaw (causing irreversible collapse), combined with the composition of ice wedge-engrained OM (co-metabolizing old OM), underlines the particularly strong potential of Yedoma to generate a positive feedback to climate warming relative to other forms of non-ice wedge permafrost. (letter)

  11. Detecting the permafrost carbon feedback: talik formation and increased cold-season respiration as precursors to sink-to-source transitions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. C. Parazoo

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Thaw and release of permafrost carbon (C due to climate change is likely to offset increased vegetation C uptake in northern high-latitude (NHL terrestrial ecosystems. Models project that this permafrost C feedback may act as a slow leak, in which case detection and attribution of the feedback may be difficult. The formation of talik, a subsurface layer of perennially thawed soil, can accelerate permafrost degradation and soil respiration, ultimately shifting the C balance of permafrost-affected ecosystems from long-term C sinks to long-term C sources. It is imperative to understand and characterize mechanistic links between talik, permafrost thaw, and respiration of deep soil C to detect and quantify the permafrost C feedback. Here, we use the Community Land Model (CLM version 4.5, a permafrost and biogeochemistry model, in comparison to long-term deep borehole data along North American and Siberian transects, to investigate thaw-driven C sources in NHL ( >  55° N from 2000 to 2300. Widespread talik at depth is projected across most of the NHL permafrost region (14 million km2 by 2300, 6.2 million km2 of which is projected to become a long-term C source, emitting 10 Pg C by 2100, 50 Pg C by 2200, and 120 Pg C by 2300, with few signs of slowing. Roughly half of the projected C source region is in predominantly warm sub-Arctic permafrost following talik onset. This region emits only 20 Pg C by 2300, but the CLM4.5 estimate may be biased low by not accounting for deep C in yedoma. Accelerated decomposition of deep soil C following talik onset shifts the ecosystem C balance away from surface dominant processes (photosynthesis and litter respiration, but sink-to-source transition dates are delayed by 20–200 years by high ecosystem productivity, such that talik peaks early ( ∼  2050s, although borehole data suggest sooner and C source transition peaks late ( ∼  2150–2200. The

  12. Examining the role of shrub expansion and fire in Arctic plant silica cycling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carey, J.; Fetcher, N.; Parker, T.; Rocha, A. V.; Tang, J.

    2017-12-01

    All terrestrial plants accumulate silica (SiO2) to some degree, although the amount varies by species type, functional group, and environmental conditions. Silica improves overall plant fitness, providing protection from a variety of biotic and abiotic stressors. Plant silica uptake serves to retain silica in terrestrial landscapes, influencing silica export rates from terrestrial to marine systems. These export rates are important because silica is often the limiting nutrient for primary production by phytoplankton in coastal waters. Understanding how terrestrial plant processes influence silica export rates to oceanic systems is of interest on the global scale, but nowhere is this issue more important than in the Arctic, where marine diatoms rely on silica for production in large numbers and terrestrial runoff largely influences marine biogeochemistry. Moreover, the rapid rate of change occurring in the Arctic makes understanding plant silica dynamics timely, although knowledge of plant silica cycling in the region is in its infancy. This work specifically examines how shrub expansion, permafrost thaw, and fire regimes influence plant silica behavior in the Alaskan Arctic. We quantified silica accumulation in above and belowground portions of three main tundra types found in the Arctic (wet sedge, moist acidic, moist non-acidic tundra) and scaled these values to estimate how shrub expansion alters plant silica accumulation rates. Results indicate that shrub expansion via warming will increase silica storage in Arctic land plants due to the higher biomass associated with shrub tundra, whereas conversion of tussock to wet sedge tundra via permafrost thaw would produce the opposite effect in the terrestrial plant BSi pool. We also examined silica behavior in plants exposed to fire, finding that post-fire growth results in elevated plant silica uptake. Such changes in the size of the terrestrial vegetation silica reservoir could have direct consequences for the rates

  13. Arctic-COLORS (Coastal Land Ocean Interactions in the Arctic) - a NASA field campaign scoping study to examine land-ocean interactions in the Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernes, P.; Tzortziou, M.; Salisbury, J.; Mannino, A.; Matrai, P.; Friedrichs, M. A.; Del Castillo, C. E.

    2014-12-01

    The Arctic region is warming faster than anywhere else on the planet, triggering rapid social and economic changes and impacting both terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Yet our understanding of critical processes and interactions along the Arctic land-ocean interface is limited. Arctic-COLORS is a Field Campaign Scoping Study funded by NASA's Ocean Biology and Biogeochemistry Program that aims to improve understanding and prediction of land-ocean interactions in a rapidly changing Arctic coastal zone, and assess vulnerability, response, feedbacks and resilience of coastal ecosystems, communities and natural resources to current and future pressures. Specific science objectives include: - Quantify lateral fluxes to the arctic inner shelf from (i) rivers and (ii) the outer shelf/basin that affect biology, biodiversity, biogeochemistry (i.e. organic matter, nutrients, suspended sediment), and the processing rates of these constituents in coastal waters. - Evaluate the impact of the thawing of Arctic permafrost within the river basins on coastal biology, biodiversity and biogeochemistry, including various rates of community production and the role these may play in the health of regional economies. - Assess the impact of changing Arctic landfast ice and coastal sea ice dynamics. - Establish a baseline for comparison to future change, and use state-of-the-art models to assess impacts of environmental change on coastal biology, biodiversity and biogeochemistry. A key component of Arctic-COLORS will be the integration of satellite and field observations with coupled physical-biogeochemical models for predicting impacts of future pressures on Arctic, coastal ocean, biological processes and biogeochemical cycles. Through interagency and international collaborations, and through the organization of dedicated workshops, town hall meetings and presentations at international conferences, the scoping study engages the broader scientific community and invites participation of

  14. AirSWOT flights and field campaigns for the 2017 Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, L. C.; Pavelsky, T.; Lettenmaier, D. P.; Gleason, C. J.; Pietroniro, A.; Applejohn, A.; Arvesen, J. C.; Bjella, K.; Carter, T.; Chao, R.; Cooley, S. W.; Cooper, M. G.; Cretaux, J. F.; Douglass, T.; Faria, D.; Fayne, J.; Fiset, J. M.; Goodman, S.; Hanna, B.; Harlan, M.; Langhorst, T.; Marsh, P.; Moreira, D. M.; Minear, J. T.; Onclin, C.; Overstreet, B. T.; Peters, D.; Pettit, J.; Pitcher, L. H.; Russell, M.; Spence, C.; Topp, S.; Turner, K. W.; Vimal, S.; Wilcox, E.; Woodward, J.; Yang, D.; Zaino, A.

    2017-12-01

    Some 50% of Canada and 80% of Alaska is thought to be underlain by permafrost, influencing the hydrology, ecology and carbon cycles of Arctic-Boreal landscapes. This influence includes enhanced presence of millions of lakes and wetlands, which release trace gases while supporting critical ecosystems and traditional subsistence economies. Permafrost is challenging to infer from remote sensing and difficult to sample in the field. A series of 2017 AirSWOT flights flown for the NASA Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE) will study whether small variations in water surface elevations (WSEs) of Arctic-Boreal lakes are sensitive to presence and/or disturbance of permafrost. AirSWOT is an experimental NASA airborne radar designed to map WSE and a precursor to SWOT, a forthcoming NASA/CNES/CSA satellite mission to map WSE globally with launch in 2021. The ABoVE AirSWOT flight experiments adopted long flight lines of the broader ABoVE effort to traverse broad spatial gradients of permafrost, climate, ecology, and geology. AirSWOT acquisitions consisted of long (1000s of kilometers) strips of Ka-band interferometric radar imagery, and high resolution visible/NIR imagery and DEMs from a digital Cirrus CIR camera. Intensive AirSWOT mapping and ground-based GPS field surveys were conducted at 11 field sites for eight study areas of Canada and Alaska: 1) Saint-Denis, Redberry Lake, North Saskatchewan River (Saskatchewan); 2) Peace-Athabasca Delta (Alberta); 3) Slave River Delta (N.W.T.); 4) Canadian Shield (Yellowknife area, Daring Lake, N.W.T.); 5) Mackenzie River (Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk corridor, N.W.T.); 6) Old Crow Flats (Yukon Territory); 7) Sagavanirktok River (Alaska); 8) Yukon Flats (Alaska). Extensive ground campaigns were conducted by U.S. and Canadian collaborators to collect high quality surveys of lake WSE, river WSE and discharge, and shoreline locations. Field experiments included traditional and novel GPS surveying methods, including custom-built GPS buoys

  15. Arctic sea ice decline contributes to thinning lake ice trend in northern Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexeev, Vladimir; Arp, Christopher D.; Jones, Benjamin M.; Cai, Lei

    2016-01-01

    Field measurements, satellite observations, and models document a thinning trend in seasonal Arctic lake ice growth, causing a shift from bedfast to floating ice conditions. September sea ice concentrations in the Arctic Ocean since 1991 correlate well (r = +0.69,p Research and Forecasting model output produced a 7% decrease in lake ice growth when 2007/08 sea ice was imposed on 1991/92 climatology and a 9% increase in lake ice growth for the opposing experiment. Here, we clearly link early winter 'ocean-effect' snowfall and warming to reduced lake ice growth. Future reductions in sea ice extent will alter hydrological, biogeochemical, and habitat functioning of Arctic lakes and cause sub-lake permafrost thaw.

  16. Collaborations for Arctic Sea Ice Information and Tools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheffield Guy, L.; Wiggins, H. V.; Turner-Bogren, E. J.; Rich, R. H.

    2017-12-01

    informed decision-making. One of SEARCH's primary science topics is focused on Arctic sea ice; the SEARCH Sea Ice Action Team is leading efforts to advance understanding and awareness of the impacts of Arctic sea-ice loss.

  17. A Uranium-Lead Chronology of Speleothem Deposition in the Canadian Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gambino, C.; Shakun, J. D.; McGee, D.; Ramezani, J.; Khadivi, S.; Wong, C. I.

    2017-12-01

    The Artic is one of the fastest warming regions on the planet. Currently much of the Arctic is covered by permafrost, which contains approximately 1,700 gigatons of organic carbon. Permafrost thaw could release a substantial amount of this carbon as greenhouse gases into the atmosphere through microbial decomposition, potentially dramatically amplifying anthropogenic warming. However, the risk of permafrost thaw is uncertain, with models exhibiting a wide range of possibilities. Assessing the stability of permafrost during past interglacial periods enables evaluation of the sensitivity of permafrost to warming. Cave mineral deposits (speleothems) in areas currently covered with permafrost can act as a proxy for past permafrost thaw, as liquid water is one criteria of speleothem growth and thus implies thawed ground conditions. Previous uranium-thorium (U-Th) dating of speleothems (n=67) from a wide range of latitudes and permafrost zones across the southern Canadian Rockies, Northwest Territories, and the northern Yukon suggest deposition during Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 11 and 13. The majority of U-Th dates of these speleothems, however, exceed the U-Th dating limit of 600 ka. In this study, we apply uranium-lead (U-Pb) geochronology to several of these speleothems to extend the records of speleothem growth further back in time. Initial results include a U-Pb age of 428 ± 14 ka that replicates a previous U-Th age of 416.8 ± 7.9 ka, and U-Pb ages on two other speleothems of 870 ± 100 ka and 1502 ± 30 ka. The results of currently in progress U-Pb analyses and a comparison of results with paleo-temperature and ice volume reconstructions will also be presented.

  18. Quality and Distribution of Frozen Organic Matter (Old, Deep, Fossil Carbon) in Siberian Permafrost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schirrmeister, Lutz; Strauss, Jens; Wetterich, Sebastian; Grosse, Guido; Overduin, Pier Paul

    2013-04-01

    Permafrost deposits constitute a large organic carbon (OC) pool vulnerable to degradation and potential carbon release due to global warming. Permafrost sections along coastal and river bank exposures and subsea cores in northeastern Siberia were studied for organic matter (OM) characteristics and ice content. OM stored in Quaternary permafrost grew, accumulated, froze, partly decomposed, and refroze under different periglacial environments, reflected in specific biogeochemical and cryolithological features. For the studied individual strata (Saalian ice-rich deposits, Pre-Eemian floodplain, Eemian lake deposits, Early to Middle Weichselian fluvial deposits, Middle Weichselian Yedoma, Late Weichselian Yedoma , Taberites, Holocene cover, Holocene thermokarst, Holocene thermoerosional valley and submerged lagoon and fluvial deposits) OM accumulation, preservation, and distribution are strongly linked to a broad variety of paleoenvironmental factors and specific surface and subsurface conditions before inclusion of OM into the permafrost. OM in permafrost includes twigs, leaves, peat, grass roots, plant detritus, and particulate and dissolved OM. The vertical distribution of total OC (TOC) in exposures varies from 0.1 wt % of the dry sediment in fluvial deposits to 45 wt % in Holocene peats. High TOC, high C/N, and low d13C reflect less decomposed OM accumulated under wet, anaerobic soil conditions characteristic of interglacial and interstadial periods. Glacial and stadial periods are characterized by less variable, low TOC, low C/N, and high d13C values indicating stable environments with reduced bioproductivity and stronger OM decomposition under dryer, aerobic soil conditions. Based on TOC data and updated information on bulk densities, we estimate average OC inventories for different stratigraphic units in northeastern Siberia, ranging from 7 kg C/m³ for Early Weichselian fluvial deposits, to 33 kg C/m³ for Middle Weichselian Yedoma deposits, to 75 kg C/m³ for

  19. Repeat synoptic sampling reveals drivers of change in carbon and nutrient chemistry of Arctic catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zarnetske, J. P.; Abbott, B. W.; Bowden, W. B.; Iannucci, F.; Griffin, N.; Parker, S.; Pinay, G.; Aanderud, Z.

    2017-12-01

    Dissolved organic carbon (DOC), nutrients, and other solute concentrations are increasing in rivers across the Arctic. Two hypotheses have been proposed to explain these trends: 1. distributed, top-down permafrost degradation, and 2. discrete, point-source delivery of DOC and nutrients from permafrost collapse features (thermokarst). While long-term monitoring at a single station cannot discriminate between these mechanisms, synoptic sampling of multiple points in the stream network could reveal the spatial structure of solute sources. In this context, we sampled carbon and nutrient chemistry three times over two years in 119 subcatchments of three distinct Arctic catchments (North Slope, Alaska). Subcatchments ranged from 0.1 to 80 km2, and included three distinct types of Arctic landscapes - mountainous, tundra, and glacial-lake catchments. We quantified the stability of spatial patterns in synoptic water chemistry and analyzed high-frequency time series from the catchment outlets across the thaw season to identify source areas for DOC, nutrients, and major ions. We found that variance in solute concentrations between subcatchments collapsed at spatial scales between 1 to 20 km2, indicating a continuum of diffuse- and point-source dynamics, depending on solute and catchment characteristics (e.g. reactivity, topography, vegetation, surficial geology). Spatially-distributed mass balance revealed conservative transport of DOC and nitrogen, and indicates there may be strong in-stream retention of phosphorus, providing a network-scale confirmation of previous reach-scale studies in these Arctic catchments. Overall, we present new approaches to analyzing synoptic data for change detection and quantification of ecohydrological mechanisms in ecosystems in the Arctic and beyond.

  20. Climate Trends in the Arctic as Observed from Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comiso, Josefino C.; Hall, Dorothy K.

    2014-01-01

    The Arctic is a region in transformation. Warming in the region has been amplified, as expected from ice-albedo feedback effects, with the rate of warming observed to be approx. 0.60+/-0.07 C/decade in the Arctic (>64degN) compared to approx. 0.17 C/decade globally during the last three decades. This increase in surface temperature is manifested in all components of the cryosphere. In particular, the sea ice extent has been declining at the rate of approx. 3.8%/decade, whereas the perennial ice (represented by summer ice minimum) is declining at a much greater rate of approx.11.5%/decade. Spring snow cover has also been observed to be declining by -2.12%/decade for the period 1967-2012. The Greenland ice sheet has been losing mass at the rate of approx. 34.0Gt/year (sea level equivalence of 0.09 mm/year) during the period from 1992 to 2011, but for the period 2002-2011, a higher rate of mass loss of approx. 215 Gt/year has been observed. Also, the mass of glaciers worldwide declined at the rate of 226 Gt/year from 1971 to 2009 and 275 Gt/year from 1993 to 2009. Increases in permafrost temperature have also been measured in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere while a thickening of the active layer that overlies permafrost and a thinning of seasonally frozen ground has also been reported. To gain insight into these changes, comparative analysis with trends in clouds, albedo, and the Arctic Oscillation is also presented.

  1. Biomarker and carbon isotope constraints (δ13C, Δ14C) on sources and cycling of particulate organic matter discharged by large Siberian rivers draining permafrost areas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Winterfeld, Maria

    2014-08-01

    Circumpolar permafrost soils store about half of the global soil organic carbon pool. These huge amounts of organic matter (OM) could accumulate due to low temperatures and water saturated soil conditions over the course of millennia. Currently most of this OM remains frozen and therefore does not take part in the active carbon cycle, making permafrost soils a globally important carbon sink. Over the last decades mean annual air temperatures in the Arctic increased stronger than the global mean and this trend is projected to continue. As a result the permafrost carbon pool is under climate pressure possibly creating a positive climate feedback due to the thaw-induced release of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Arctic warming will lead to increased annual permafrost thaw depths and Arctic river runoff likely resulting in enhanced mobilization and export of old, previously frozen soil-derived OM. Consequently, the great arctic rivers play an important role in global biogeochemical cycles by connecting the large permafrost carbon pool of their hinterlands with the arctic shelf seas and the Arctic Ocean. The first part of this thesis deals with particulate organic matter (POM) from the Lena Delta and adjacent Buor Khaya Bay. The Lena River in central Siberia is one of the major pathways translocating terrestrial OM from its southernmost reaches near Lake Baikal to the coastal zone of the Laptev Sea. The permafrost soils from the Lena catchment area store huge amounts of pre-aged OM, which is expected to be remobilized due to climate warming. To characterize the composition and vegetation sources of OM discharged by the Lena River, the lignin phenol and carbon isotopic composition (δ 13 C and Δ 14 C) in total suspended matter (TSM) from surface waters, surface sediments from the Buor Khaya Bay along with soils from the Lena Delta's first (Holocene) and third terraces (Pleistocene ice complex) were analyzed. The lignin compositions of these samples are

  2. Simulation of pollutant transport in mobile water-flow channels in permafrost environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. I. Debolskaya

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available A common problem for the Arctic region is pollution by persistent organic compounds and other substances that have accumulated over the years in these areas. With temperature increasing, these substances can get out of the snow, ice, permafrost in the human environment. With climate warming and permafrost degradation the risk of toxic substances from the burial sites of chemical and radioactive waste increases. The work is devoted to research the pollution propagation in the rivers flowing in the permafrost taking into account the possible deformations of the channels caused by the melting of the permafrost with increasing temperature of the river flow water. We also consider the distribution of pollutants released during erosion of the coastal slopes, caused thermal erosion. Numerical experiments confirmed the quantitative assessment obtained from the field observations of the erosion rate increases with increasing temperature. Study the impact of thermal and mechanical erosion of the distribution of impurities led to the conclusion that as a result of the formation of taliks uniform flow conditions are violated, resulting in a non-stationary distribution of impurities. The increase in the volume of the test section of the river due to the appearance of cavities in the coastal slope leads to an increase in impurity concentration. Analysis of the results of modeling the spread of contamination during thawing sources in the frozen shores, demonstrated the relationship in the process of distribution of impurities from the position of the source and allowed to give a preliminary quantitative assessment.

  3. Simulations of permafrost evolution at Olkiluoto

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hartikainen, J. [Aalto Univ., Espoo (Finland)

    2013-07-15

    This report provides numerical estimations of the evolution of permafrost and perennially frozen ground at Olkiluoto on time-scales of 60,000 and 125,000 years using Olkiluoto's site-specific information on time histories of ground level temperatures, ice sheet thickness, basal conditions, shoreline migration, soil and vegetation cover as well as heat generation from the spent fuel at a depth of 420 metres. When considering environmental conditions akin to the last glacial cycle for a 125,000 years long period, the maximum permafrost depth over the repository area can exceed the depth of 300 m and the maximum depth of perennially frozen ground the depth of 270 m. If Olkiluoto, after a 50,000 years long temperate phase of boreal climate, was subjected to a 10,000 years long periglacial period with air temperature decreased between -5 deg C and -10 deg C, the maximum permafrost depth would range between 60 and 240 m and the maximum depth of perennially frozen ground between 50 and 220 m. Furthermore, permafrost would reach the repository depth in 10,000 years, if the air temperature was lowered down to -15 deg C and the ground surface had a very thin vegetation and snow cover. Alternatively, if Olkiluoto experienced a 125,000 years long glacial cycle with a very long periglacial periods of low air temperatures and thin vegetation and snow cover and without any ice sheet development, permafrost would reach the depth of 400 m in 98,000 years and perennially frozen ground in 101,000 years. The areal distribution of permafrost and perennially frozen ground are broadly affected by the snow cover, lakes and the peat areas, especially when an extensive peat growth occurs. The lack of snow cover can enhance the evolution of the maximum depth of permafrost and perennially frozen ground by over 50 %. In addition, ground thermal conditions and the heat generation from the spent fuel modify the spatial and temporal development of permafrost and perennially frozen ground. A

  4. Simulations of permafrost evolution at Olkiluoto

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hartikainen, J.

    2013-07-01

    This report provides numerical estimations of the evolution of permafrost and perennially frozen ground at Olkiluoto on time-scales of 60,000 and 125,000 years using Olkiluoto's site-specific information on time histories of ground level temperatures, ice sheet thickness, basal conditions, shoreline migration, soil and vegetation cover as well as heat generation from the spent fuel at a depth of 420 metres. When considering environmental conditions akin to the last glacial cycle for a 125,000 years long period, the maximum permafrost depth over the repository area can exceed the depth of 300 m and the maximum depth of perennially frozen ground the depth of 270 m. If Olkiluoto, after a 50,000 years long temperate phase of boreal climate, was subjected to a 10,000 years long periglacial period with air temperature decreased between -5 deg C and -10 deg C, the maximum permafrost depth would range between 60 and 240 m and the maximum depth of perennially frozen ground between 50 and 220 m. Furthermore, permafrost would reach the repository depth in 10,000 years, if the air temperature was lowered down to -15 deg C and the ground surface had a very thin vegetation and snow cover. Alternatively, if Olkiluoto experienced a 125,000 years long glacial cycle with a very long periglacial periods of low air temperatures and thin vegetation and snow cover and without any ice sheet development, permafrost would reach the depth of 400 m in 98,000 years and perennially frozen ground in 101,000 years. The areal distribution of permafrost and perennially frozen ground are broadly affected by the snow cover, lakes and the peat areas, especially when an extensive peat growth occurs. The lack of snow cover can enhance the evolution of the maximum depth of permafrost and perennially frozen ground by over 50 %. In addition, ground thermal conditions and the heat generation from the spent fuel modify the spatial and temporal development of permafrost and perennially frozen ground. A

  5. Impacts of northern climate changes on Arctic engineering practice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Esch, D.C.

    1993-01-01

    Potential impacts of climate changes on engineering design practices in the Arctic are discussed with reference to permafrost engineering aspects, hydrology, and coastal and sea ice processes. Permafrost generally remains thermally stable only when mean annual air temperature remains 2-4 degrees below zero and the original surface conditions remain unchanged. It has been demonstrated that a temperature rise of only 1-2 degrees is very critical. The many different climate change forecasts make it difficult to design structures in permafrost with definite levels of confidence over a project's lifetime (i.e. up to 50 years). Consequences of climate warming on transportation-related structures can be estimated to a certain degree by examining experience with natural permafrost surfaces affected by land clearing or with structures built in permafrost. Melting of permafrost will be accompanied by surface settlements, slumping of slopes and banks, and creation of thaw pits and ponds, with eventual distress to many surface structures such as pavements and foundations. Designing for a warmer climate is illustrated for the case of the Bethel Highway, the first in Alaska to be designed for a progressively warmer climate. Increased water flows both from ice melting and increased precipitation in a warmer climate will make forecasting of discharge levels in drainage basins a difficult task. Of great concern to engineers is the potential for increased erosion and sediment loadings in streams. In coastal engineering, the effects of rising sea levels, increased open-water areas, and more severe storms foreseen in a warmer climate will require heavier and more elevated shore protection. On the other hand, shipping and offshore operations will be made easier. 9 refs., 4 figs

  6. Towards improved parameterization of a macroscale hydrologic model in a discontinuous permafrost boreal forest ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Endalamaw

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Modeling hydrological processes in the Alaskan sub-arctic is challenging because of the extreme spatial heterogeneity in soil properties and vegetation communities. Nevertheless, modeling and predicting hydrological processes is critical in this region due to its vulnerability to the effects of climate change. Coarse-spatial-resolution datasets used in land surface modeling pose a new challenge in simulating the spatially distributed and basin-integrated processes since these datasets do not adequately represent the small-scale hydrological, thermal, and ecological heterogeneity. The goal of this study is to improve the prediction capacity of mesoscale to large-scale hydrological models by introducing a small-scale parameterization scheme, which better represents the spatial heterogeneity of soil properties and vegetation cover in the Alaskan sub-arctic. The small-scale parameterization schemes are derived from observations and a sub-grid parameterization method in the two contrasting sub-basins of the Caribou Poker Creek Research Watershed (CPCRW in Interior Alaska: one nearly permafrost-free (LowP sub-basin and one permafrost-dominated (HighP sub-basin. The sub-grid parameterization method used in the small-scale parameterization scheme is derived from the watershed topography. We found that observed soil thermal and hydraulic properties – including the distribution of permafrost and vegetation cover heterogeneity – are better represented in the sub-grid parameterization method than the coarse-resolution datasets. Parameters derived from the coarse-resolution datasets and from the sub-grid parameterization method are implemented into the variable infiltration capacity (VIC mesoscale hydrological model to simulate runoff, evapotranspiration (ET, and soil moisture in the two sub-basins of the CPCRW. Simulated hydrographs based on the small-scale parameterization capture most of the peak and low flows, with similar accuracy in both sub

  7. Arctic Messages: Arctic Research in the Vocabulary of Poets and Artists

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samsel, F.

    2017-12-01

    Arctic Messages is a series of prints created by a multidisciplinary team designed to build understanding and encourage dialogue about the changing Arctic ecosystems and the impacts on global weather patterns. Our team comprised of Arctic researchers, a poet, a visual artist, photographers and visualization experts set out to blend the vocabularies of our disciplines in order to provide entry into the content for diverse audiences. Arctic Messages is one facet of our broader efforts experimenting with mediums of communication able to provide entry to those of us outside scientific of fields. We believe that the scientific understanding of change presented through the languages art will speak to our humanity as well as our intellect. The prints combine poetry, painting, visualization, and photographs, drawn from the Arctic field studies of the Next Generation Ecosystem Experiments research team at Los Alamos National Laboratory. The artistic team interviewed the scientists, read their papers and poured over their field blogs. The content and concepts are designed to portray the wonder of nature, the complexity of the science and the dedication of the researchers. Smith brings to life the intertwined connection between the research efforts, the ecosystems and the scientist's experience. Breathtaking photography of the research site is accompanied by Samsel's drawings and paintings of the ecosystem relationships and geological formations. Together they provide entry to the variety and wonder of life on the Arctic tundra and that resting quietly in the permafrost below. Our team has experimented with many means of presentation from complex interactive systems to quiet individual works. Here we are presenting a series of prints, each one based on a single thread of the research or the scientist's experience but containing intertwined relationships similar to the ecosystems they represent. Earlier interactive systems, while engaging, were not tuned to those seeking

  8. Permafrost and organic layer interactions over a climate gradient in a discontinuous permafrost zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kristofer D. Johnson; Jennifer W. Harden; A. David McGuire; Mark Clark; Fengming Yuan; Andrew O. Finley

    2013-01-01

    Permafrost is tightly coupled to the organic soil layer, an interaction that mediates permafrost degradation in response to regional warming. We analyzed changes in permafrost occurrence and organic layer thickness (OLT) using more than 3000 soil pedons across a mean annual temperature (MAT) gradient. Cause and effect relationships between permafrost probability (PF),...

  9. A synthesis of the arctic terrestrial and marine carbon cycles under pressure from a dwindling cryosphere

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Parmentier, Frans-Jan W; Christensen, Torben R; Rysgaard, Søren

    2017-01-01

    The current downturn of the arctic cryosphere, such as the strong loss of sea ice, melting of ice sheets and glaciers, and permafrost thaw, affects the marine and terrestrial carbon cycles in numerous interconnected ways. Nonetheless, processes in the ocean and on land have been too often...

  10. Relevance of hydro-climatic change projection and monitoring for assessment of water cycle changes in the Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bring, Arvid; Destouni, Georgia

    2011-06-01

    Rapid changes to the Arctic hydrological cycle challenge both our process understanding and our ability to find appropriate adaptation strategies. We have investigated the relevance and accuracy development of climate change projections for assessment of water cycle changes in major Arctic drainage basins. Results show relatively good agreement of climate model projections with observed temperature changes, but high model inaccuracy relative to available observation data for precipitation changes. Direct observations further show systematically larger (smaller) runoff than precipitation increases (decreases). This result is partly attributable to uncertainties and systematic bias in precipitation observations, but still indicates that some of the observed increase in Arctic river runoff is due to water storage changes, for example melting permafrost and/or groundwater storage changes, within the drainage basins. Such causes of runoff change affect sea level, in addition to ocean salinity, and inland water resources, ecosystems, and infrastructure. Process-based hydrological modeling and observations, which can resolve changes in evapotranspiration, and groundwater and permafrost storage at and below river basin scales, are needed in order to accurately interpret and translate climate-driven precipitation changes to changes in freshwater cycling and runoff. In contrast to this need, our results show that the density of Arctic runoff monitoring has become increasingly biased and less relevant by decreasing most and being lowest in river basins with the largest expected climatic changes.

  11. Improving the Characterization of Arctic Coastline Ecosystem Change near Utqiagvik, Alaska Utilizing Multiyear Terrestrial Laser Scanning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escarzaga, S. M.; Cody, R. P.; Vargas, S. A., Jr.; Fuson, T.; Hodge, B. E.; Tweedie, C. E.

    2017-12-01

    The Arctic Ocean comprises the largest coastline on Earth and is undergoing environmental change on a level disproportionate to those in lower-latitudes. In the US Arctic, coastal erosion rates along the North Slope of Alaska show that they are among highest in the nation at an average rate of 1.4 meters per year. Despite their importance to biogeochemical cycling, Native village infrastructure and providing pristine species habitat, Arctic coastlines and near shore environments are relatively understudied due to logistical challenges of conducting fieldwork in these locations. This study expands on past efforts which showed dGPS foot surveys work well at describing planar erosion on less complex permafrost bluff types like those seen on the higher-energy coasts east of Utqiagvik, Alaska along the Beaufort Sea where the main mechanism of erosion happens by block failure caused by wave action. However, coastal bluffs along the Chukchi Sea to the west are more complex and variable in terms of form and mechanisms of erosion. Here, where wide beaches tend to buffer wave action, thermal erosion and permafrost slumping produce slower erosion rates. Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) has been applied across a multitude of terrain types, including coastlines spanning various ecosystems. Additionally, this approach allows 3D modeling of fine scale geomorphological features which can facilitate modeling of erosion rates in these areas. This study utilizes a six year time series of TLS on a section of coastal permafrost bluff along the Chukchi Sea south of Utqiagvik. The aim of the work presented is to better understand spatio-temporal trends of coastal bluff face erosion, bluff top subsidence and how these landscape microtopographic changes are coupled to ecosystem changes and land cover types. Preliminary analysis suggests a high rate of stability of the bluff face over the TLS record with most of the detectable permafrost subsidence happening closer to the coastal bluff edge.

  12. EXPERIMENT ON LONG-STORAGE OF FOOD PRODUCTS FOODSTUFFS IN CODITION OF PERMAFROST CONTINUED, ARCTIC, 2016

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. E. Ulanin

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available In 1973 the crew of polar expedition, investigating the Middendorff Bay at the messdeck Zarya, discovered the depot of food products hidden in permafrost by head of Russian polar expedition E. Toll in 1900. There were oat flakes ‘Gerkules’ and croutons in the depot. Then the study carried out in Research Institute of Vegetable Drying and Can Industry had shown that all products discovered had preserved all their food qualities. That result leaded to launch up the experimental work on the possibility of preservation of food products and foodstuffs in permafrost till 2050. Quality of product found out in Taymyr Peninsula was analyzed. The results of study on qualities after long preservation in permafrost of such food products and foodstuffs as meat, milk, fish, confectionery, concentrated food, plant seeds were given. As a result of expedition in 2016, 20 samples were taken out and new samples of two types of products were placed into repository. Overall products placed consisted of 23 items, including foodstuffs and plant seeds with account of taking them out in 2025, 2035 and 2050. On the basis of research carried out, it is proved that most of modern and casual food products can be preserved without losing their quality values.

  13. Permafrost: An International Approach to 21th Century Challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, J.

    2003-12-01

    . Cryosol (Antarctic soil map, soil database). 4. Glacier and Permafrost Hazards in High Mountains (interaction of ice and permafrost on slopes). 5. Isotopes and Geochemistry of Permafrost (paleo-reconstruction, modern processes). 6. Mapping and Modelling of Mountain Permafrost (standardize map legends and maps, multi-dimensional models). 7. Periglacial Processes and Environments (past and present processes, field manual of measurements). 8. Permafrost and Climate (monitoring, impact assessments, inter-comparisons of models). 9. Permafrost Astrobiology (survivability of life on planets and analogous Earth environments). 10. Permafrost Engineering (case studies, climate impacts on infrastructure). The Data Committee facilitates recovery of data, web access, and CD data production. These activities will provide added insight into past, present and future occurrences and responses of permafrost to climate change. They can contribute to activities of the International Polar Year. Results will be reported at the Ninth ICOP in Fairbanks, Alaska, in summer 2008. Current information is available on the IPA web site and in annual issues of Frozen Ground.

  14. Distinguishing between old and modern permafrost sources in the northeast Siberian land-shelf system with compound-specific δ2H analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vonk, Jorien E.; Tesi, Tommaso; Bröder, Lisa; Holmstrand, Henry; Hugelius, Gustaf; Andersson, August; Dudarev, Oleg; Semiletov, Igor; Gustafsson, Örjan

    2017-08-01

    Pleistocene ice complex permafrost deposits contain roughly a quarter of the organic carbon (OC) stored in permafrost (PF) terrain. When permafrost thaws, its OC is remobilized into the (aquatic) environment where it is available for degradation, transport or burial. Aquatic or coastal environments contain sedimentary reservoirs that can serve as archives of past climatic change. As permafrost thaw is increasing throughout the Arctic, these reservoirs are important locations to assess the fate of remobilized permafrost OC.We here present compound-specific deuterium (δ2H) analysis on leaf waxes as a tool to distinguish between OC released from thawing Pleistocene permafrost (ice complex deposits; ICD) and from thawing Holocene permafrost (from near-surface soils). Bulk geochemistry (%OC; δ13C; %total nitrogen, TN) was analyzed as well as the concentrations and δ2H signatures of long-chain n-alkanes (C21 to C33) and mid- to long-chain n-alkanoic acids (C16 to C30) extracted from both ICD-PF samples (n = 9) and modern vegetation and O-horizon (topsoil-PF) samples (n = 9) from across the northeast Siberian Arctic. Results show that these topsoil-PF samples have higher %OC, higher OC / TN values and more depleted δ13C-OC values than ICD-PF samples, suggesting that these former samples trace a fresher soil and/or vegetation source. Whereas the two investigated sources differ on the bulk geochemical level, they are, however, virtually indistinguishable when using leaf wax concentrations and ratios. However, on the molecular isotope level, leaf wax biomarker δ2H values are statistically different between topsoil PF and ICD PF. For example, the mean δ2H value of C29 n-alkane was -246 ± 13 ‰ (mean ± SD) for topsoil PF and -280 ± 12 ‰ for ICD PF. With a dynamic isotopic range (difference between two sources) of 34 to 50 ‰; the isotopic fingerprints of individual, abundant, biomarker molecules from leaf waxes can thus serve as endmembers to distinguish between

  15. Biomarker and carbon isotope constraints (δ{sup 13}C, Δ{sup 14}C) on sources and cycling of particulate organic matter discharged by large Siberian rivers draining permafrost areas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Winterfeld, Maria

    2014-08-15

    Circumpolar permafrost soils store about half of the global soil organic carbon pool. These huge amounts of organic matter (OM) could accumulate due to low temperatures and water saturated soil conditions over the course of millennia. Currently most of this OM remains frozen and therefore does not take part in the active carbon cycle, making permafrost soils a globally important carbon sink. Over the last decades mean annual air temperatures in the Arctic increased stronger than the global mean and this trend is projected to continue. As a result the permafrost carbon pool is under climate pressure possibly creating a positive climate feedback due to the thaw-induced release of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Arctic warming will lead to increased annual permafrost thaw depths and Arctic river runoff likely resulting in enhanced mobilization and export of old, previously frozen soil-derived OM. Consequently, the great arctic rivers play an important role in global biogeochemical cycles by connecting the large permafrost carbon pool of their hinterlands with the arctic shelf seas and the Arctic Ocean. The first part of this thesis deals with particulate organic matter (POM) from the Lena Delta and adjacent Buor Khaya Bay. The Lena River in central Siberia is one of the major pathways translocating terrestrial OM from its southernmost reaches near Lake Baikal to the coastal zone of the Laptev Sea. The permafrost soils from the Lena catchment area store huge amounts of pre-aged OM, which is expected to be remobilized due to climate warming. To characterize the composition and vegetation sources of OM discharged by the Lena River, the lignin phenol and carbon isotopic composition (δ{sup 13}C and Δ{sup 14}C) in total suspended matter (TSM) from surface waters, surface sediments from the Buor Khaya Bay along with soils from the Lena Delta's first (Holocene) and third terraces (Pleistocene ice complex) were analyzed. The lignin compositions of these samples are

  16. METHANE HYDRATE PRODUCTION FROM ALASKAN PERMAFROST

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ali Kadaster; Bill Liddell; Tommy Thompson; Thomas Williams; Michael Niedermayr

    2005-02-01

    Natural-gas hydrates have been encountered beneath the permafrost and considered a nuisance by the oil and gas industry for years. Engineers working in Russia, Canada and the USA have documented numerous drilling problems, including kicks and uncontrolled gas releases, in arctic regions. Information has been generated in laboratory studies pertaining to the extent, volume, chemistry and phase behavior of gas hydrates. Scientists studying hydrate potential agree that the potential is great--on the North Slope of Alaska alone, it has been estimated at 590 TCF. However, little information has been obtained on physical samples taken from actual rock containing hydrates. This gas-hydrate project was a cost-shared partnership between Maurer Technology, Noble Corporation, Anadarko Petroleum, and the U.S. Department of Energy's Methane Hydrate R&D program. The purpose of the project is to build on previous and ongoing R&D in the area of onshore hydrate deposition to identify, quantify and predict production potential for hydrates located on the North Slope of Alaska. The work scope included drilling and coring a well (Hot Ice No. 1) on Anadarko leases beginning in FY 2003 and completed in 2004. During the first drilling season, operations were conducted at the site between January 28, 2003 to April 30, 2003. The well was spudded and drilled to a depth of 1403 ft. Due to the onset of warmer weather, work was then suspended for the season. Operations at the site were continued after the tundra was re-opened the following season. Between January 12, 2004 and March 19, 2004, the well was drilled and cored to a final depth of 2300 ft. An on-site core analysis laboratory was built and implemented for determining physical characteristics of the hydrates and surrounding rock. The well was drilled from a new Anadarko Arctic Platform that has a minimal footprint and environmental impact. Final efforts of the project are to correlate geology, geophysics, logs, and drilling and

  17. Quantifying landscape change in an arctic coastal lowland using repeat airborne LiDAR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Benjamin M.; Stoker, Jason M.; Gibbs, Ann E.; Grosse, Guido; Romanovsky, Vladimir E.; Douglas, Thomas A.; Kinsman, Nichole E.M.; Richmond, Bruce M.

    2013-01-01

    Increases in air, permafrost, and sea surface temperature, loss of sea ice, the potential for increased wave energy, and higher river discharge may all be interacting to escalate erosion of arctic coastal lowland landscapes. Here we use airborne light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data acquired in 2006 and 2010 to detect landscape change in a 100 km2 study area on the Beaufort Sea coastal plain of northern Alaska. We detected statistically significant change (99% confidence interval), defined as contiguous areas (>10 m2) that had changed in height by at least 0.55 m, in 0.3% of the study region. Erosional features indicative of ice-rich permafrost degradation were associated with ice-bonded coastal, river, and lake bluffs, frost mounds, ice wedges, and thermo-erosional gullies. These features accounted for about half of the area where vertical change was detected. Inferred thermo-denudation and thermo-abrasion of coastal and river bluffs likely accounted for the dominant permafrost-related degradational processes with respect to area (42%) and volume (51%). More than 300 thermokarst pits significantly subsided during the study period, likely as a result of storm surge flooding of low-lying tundra (impact of warm summers in the late-1980s and mid-1990s. Our results indicate that repeat airborne LiDAR can be used to detect landscape change in arctic coastal lowland regions at large spatial scales over sub-decadal time periods.

  18. Effects of Conversion from Boreal Forest to Arctic Steppe on Soil Communities and Ecosystem Carbon Pools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, P. D.; Natali, S.; Schade, J. D.; Zimov, N.; Zimov, S. A.

    2014-12-01

    The end of the Pleistocene marked the extinction of a great variety of arctic megafauna, which, in part, led to the conversion of arctic grasslands to modern Siberian larch forest. This shift may have increased the vulnerability of permafrost to thawing because of changes driven by the vegetation shift; the higher albedo of grassland and low insulation of snow trampled by animals may have decreased soil temperatures and reduced ground thaw in the grassland ecosystem, resulting in protection of organic carbon in thawed soil and permafrost. To test these hypothesized impacts of arctic megafauna, we examined an experimental reintroduction of large mammals in northeast Siberia, initiated in 1988. Pleistocene Park now contains 23 horses, three musk ox, one bison, and several moose in addition to the native fauna. The park is 16 square km with a smaller enclosure (animals spend most of their time and our study was focused. We measured carbon-pools in forested sites (where scat surveys showed low animal use), and grassy sites (which showed higher use), within the park boundaries. We also measured thaw depth and documented the soil invertebrate communities in each ecosystem. There was a substantial difference in number of invertebrates per kg of organic soil between the forest (600 ± 250) and grassland (300 ± 250), though these differences were not statistically significant they suggest faster nutrient turnover in the forest or a greater proportion of decomposition by invertebrates than other decomposers. While thaw depth was deeper in the grassland (60 ± 4 cm) than in the forest (40 ± 6 cm), we did not detect differences in organic layer depth or percent organic matter between grassland and forest. However, soil in the grassland had higher bulk density, and higher carbon stocks in the organic and mineral soil layers. Although deeper thaw depth in the grassland suggests that more carbon is available to microbial decomposers, ongoing temperature monitoring will help

  19. The microbial ecology of permafrost

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jansson, Janet; Tas, Neslihan

    2014-01-01

    Permafrost constitutes a major portion of the terrestrial cryosphere of the Earth and is a unique ecological niche for cold-adapted microorganisms. There is a relatively high microbial diversity in permafrost, although there is some variation in community composition across different permafrost......-gas emissions. This Review describes new data on the microbial ecology of permafrost and provides a platform for understanding microbial life strategies in frozen soil as well as the impact of climate change on permafrost microorganisms and their functional roles....

  20. The Climate Science Special Report: Arctic Changes and their Effect on Alaska and the Rest of the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, P. C.

    2017-12-01

    Rapid and visible climate change is happening across the Arctic, outpacing global change. Annual average near-surface air temperatures across the Arctic are increasing at more than twice the rate of global average surface temperature. In addition to surface temperature, all components of the Arctic climate system are responding in kind, including sea ice, mountain glaciers and the Greenland Ice sheet, snow cover, and permafrost. Many of these changes with a discernable anthropogenic imprint. While Arctic climate change may seem physically remote to those living in other regions of the planet, Arctic climate change can affect the global climate influencing sea level, the carbon cycle, and potentially atmospheric and oceanic circulation patterns. As an Arctic nation, United States' adaptation, mitigation, and policy decisions depend on projections of future Alaskan and Arctic climate. This chapter of the Climate Science Special Report documents significant scientific progress and knowledge about how the Alaskan and Arctic climate has changed and will continue to change.

  1. Using Mid Infrared Spectroscopy to Predict the Decomposability of Soil Organic Matter Stored in Arctic Tundra Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    The large amounts of organic matter stored in permafrost-region soils are preserved in a relatively undecomposed state by the cold and wet environmental conditions limiting decomposer activity. With pending climate changes and the potential for warming of Arctic soils, there is a need to better unde...

  2. Global Warming and the Arctic in 3D: A Virtual Globe for Outreach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manley, W. F.

    2006-12-01

    Virtual Globes provide a new way to capture and inform the public's interest in environmental change. As an example, a recent Google Earth presentation conveyed 'key findings' from the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA, 2004) to middle school students during the 2006 INSTAAR/NSIDC Open House at the University of Colorado. The 20-minute demonstration to 180 eighth graders began with an introduction and a view of the Arctic from space, zooming into the North American Arctic, then to a placemark for the first key finding, 'Arctic climate is now warming rapidly and much larger changes are projected'. An embedded link then opened a custom web page, with brief explanatory text, along with an ACIA graphic illustrating the rise in Arctic temperature, global CO2 concentrations, and carbon emissions for the last millennium. The demo continued with an interactive tour of other key findings (Reduced Sea Ice, Changes for Animals, Melting Glaciers, Coastal Erosion, Changes in Vegetation, Melting Permafrost, and others). Each placemark was located somewhat arbitrarily (which may be a concern for some audiences), but the points represented the messages in a geographic sense and enabled a smooth visual tour of the northern latitudes. Each placemark was linked to custom web pages with photos and concise take-home messages. The demo ended with navigation to Colorado, then Boulder, then the middle school that the students attended, all the while speaking to implications as they live their lives locally. The demo piqued the students' curiosity, and in this way better conveyed important messages about the Arctic and climate change. The use of geospatial visualizations for outreach and education appears to be in its infancy, with much potential.

  3. Substrate potential of last interglacial to Holocene permafrost organic matter for future microbial greenhouse gas production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stapel, Janina G.; Schwamborn, Georg; Schirrmeister, Lutz; Horsfield, Brian; Mangelsdorf, Kai

    2018-04-01

    In this study the organic matter (OM) in several permafrost cores from Bol'shoy Lyakhovsky Island in NE Siberia was investigated. In the context of the observed global warming the aim was to evaluate the potential of freeze-locked OM from different depositional ages to act as a substrate provider for microbial production of greenhouse gases from thawing permafrost. To assess this potential, the concentrations of free and bound acetate, which form an appropriate substrate for methanogenesis, were determined. The largest free-acetate (in pore water) and bound-acetate (organic-matrix-linked) substrate pools were present in interstadial marine isotope stage (MIS) 3 and stadial MIS 4 Yedoma permafrost deposits. In contrast, deposits from the last interglacial MIS 5e (Eemian) contained only a small pool of substrates. The Holocene (MIS 1) deposits revealed a significant bound-acetate pool, representing a future substrate potential upon release during OM degradation. Additionally, pyrolysis experiments on the OM allocated an increased aliphatic character to the MIS 3 and 4 Late Pleistocene deposits, which might indicate less decomposed and presumably more easily degradable OM. Biomarkers for past microbial communities, including those for methanogenic archaea, also showed the highest abundance during MIS 3 and 4, which indicated OM-stimulated microbial degradation and presumably greenhouse gas production during time of deposition. On a broader perspective, Arctic warming will increase and deepen permafrost thaw and favor substrate availability from older freeze-locked permafrost deposits. Thus, the Yedoma deposits especially showed a high potential for providing substrates relevant for microbial greenhouse gas production.

  4. Unusually Warm Spring Temperatures Magnify Annual CH4 Losses From Arctic Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodrich, J. P.; Oechel, W. C.; Gioli, B.; Murphy, P.; Zona, D.

    2015-12-01

    The relatively fast pace of Northern high latitude warming puts the very large permafrost soil C pool at a higher risk of being lost to the atmosphere as CH4. Estimates for the Arctic tundra's contribution to the global wetland CH4 emissions range from 15-27 TgCH4 y-1 (8-14% of total). However, these estimates are largely based on data from the growing season, or from boreal systems underlain by discontinuous permafrost with different physical, hydrological, and biogeochemical dynamics than continuous permafrost zones. Recent data from a transect of eddy covariance flux towers across the North Slope of Alaska revealed the importance of cold season emissions to the annual CH4 budget, which may not correlate with summer flux patterns. However, understanding of the controls and inter-annual variability in fluxes at these different sites is lacking. Here, we present data from ~3 years at 5 tundra ecosystems along this Arctic transect to show the influence of earlier and deeper spring active layer thaw on timing and magnitude of CH4 fluxes. This year's warm spring led to significantly greater thaw depths and lower water tables than the previous year. Substantial CH4 emissions in 2015 were recorded at the wettest sites >20 days earlier than in the more meteorologically normal previous year. Since the soil remained saturated despite a lowered water table, total spring CH4 emissions more than doubled at these wet sites. At the drier sites, soil moisture declined with water table during the warmer spring, resulting in similar emissions to the previous year. However, deeper thaw depths prolonged fall and early winter emissions during the 'zero-curtain' soil temperature freezing phase, particularly at the drier site. In general, warmer spring temperatures in the Arctic may result in large increases in early season CH4 losses at wet sites and prolonged steady losses at the upland sites, enhancing the feedback between changing climate and tundra CH4 emissions at all sites.

  5. Pan-arctic trends in terrestrial dissolved organic matter from optical measurements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul James Mann

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Climate change is causing extensive warming across arctic regions resulting in permafrost degradation, alterations to regional hydrology, and shifting amounts and composition of dissolved organic matter (DOM transported by streams and rivers. Here, we characterize the DOM composition and optical properties of the six largest arctic rivers draining into the Arctic Ocean to examine the ability of optical measurements to provide meaningful insights into terrigenous carbon export patterns and biogeochemical cycling. The chemical composition of aquatic DOM varied with season, spring months were typified by highest lignin phenol and dissolved organic carbon (DOC concentrations with greater hydrophobic acid content, and lower proportions of hydrophilic compounds, relative to summer and winter months. Chromophoric DOM (CDOM spectral slope (S275-295 tracked seasonal shifts in DOM composition across river basins. Fluorescence and parallel factor analysis identified seven components across the six Arctic rivers. The ratios of ‘terrestrial humic-like’ versus ‘marine humic-like’ fluorescent components co-varied with lignin monomer ratios over summer and winter months, suggesting fluorescence may provide information on the age and degradation state of riverine DOM. CDOM absorbance (a350 proved a sensitive proxy for lignin phenol concentrations across all six river basins and over the hydrograph, enabling for the first time the development of a single pan-arctic relationship between a350 and terrigenous DOC (R2 = 0.93. Combining this lignin proxy with high-resolution monitoring of a350, pan-arctic estimates of annual lignin flux were calculated to range from 156 to 185 Gg, resulting in shorter and more constrained estimates of terrigenous DOM residence times in the Arctic Ocean (spanning 7 months to 2½ years. Furthermore, multiple linear regression models incorporating both absorbance and fluorescence variables proved capable of explaining much of the

  6. Pan-arctic trends in terrestrial dissolved organic matter from optical measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mann, Paul; Spencer, Robert; Hernes, Peter; Six, Johan; Aiken, George; Tank, Suzanne; McClelland, James; Butler, Kenna; Dyda, Rachael; Holmes, Robert

    2016-03-01

    Climate change is causing extensive warming across arctic regions resulting in permafrost degradation, alterations to regional hydrology, and shifting amounts and composition of dissolved organic matter (DOM) transported by streams and rivers. Here, we characterize the DOM composition and optical properties of the six largest arctic rivers draining into the Arctic Ocean to examine the ability of optical measurements to provide meaningful insights into terrigenous carbon export patterns and biogeochemical cycling. The chemical composition of aquatic DOM varied with season, spring months were typified by highest lignin phenol and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations with greater hydrophobic acid content, and lower proportions of hydrophilic compounds, relative to summer and winter months. Chromophoric DOM (CDOM) spectral slope (S275-295) tracked seasonal shifts in DOM composition across river basins. Fluorescence and parallel factor analysis identified seven components across the six Arctic rivers. The ratios of 'terrestrial humic-like' versus 'marine humic-like' fluorescent components co-varied with lignin monomer ratios over summer and winter months, suggesting fluorescence may provide information on the age and degradation state of riverine DOM. CDOM absorbance (a350) proved a sensitive proxy for lignin phenol concentrations across all six river basins and over the hydrograph, enabling for the first time the development of a single pan-arctic relationship between a350 and terrigenous DOC (R2 = 0.93). Combining this lignin proxy with high-resolution monitoring of a350, pan-arctic estimates of annual lignin flux were calculated to range from 156 to 185 Gg, resulting in shorter and more constrained estimates of terrigenous DOM residence times in the Arctic Ocean (spanning 7 months to 2½ years). Furthermore, multiple linear regression models incorporating both absorbance and fluorescence variables proved capable of explaining much of the variability in

  7. In Situ Field Sequencing and Life Detection in Remote (79°26′N Canadian High Arctic Permafrost Ice Wedge Microbial Communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Goordial

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Significant progress is being made in the development of the next generation of low cost life detection instrumentation with much smaller size, mass and energy requirements. Here, we describe in situ life detection and sequencing in the field in soils over laying ice wedges in polygonal permafrost terrain on Axel Heiberg Island, located in the Canadian high Arctic (79°26′N, an analog to the polygonal permafrost terrain observed on Mars. The life detection methods used here include (1 the cryo-iPlate for culturing microorganisms using diffusion of in situ nutrients into semi-solid media (2 a Microbial Activity Microassay (MAM plate (BIOLOG Ecoplate for detecting viable extant microorganisms through a colourimetric assay, and (3 the Oxford Nanopore MinION for nucleic acid detection and sequencing of environmental samples and the products of MAM plate and cryo-iPlate. We obtained 39 microbial isolates using the cryo-iPlate, which included several putatively novel strains based on the 16S rRNA gene, including a Pedobacter sp. (96% closest similarity in GenBank which we partially genome sequenced using the MinION. The MAM plate successfully identified an active community capable of L-serine metabolism, which was used for metagenomic sequencing with the MinION to identify the active and enriched community. A metagenome on environmental ice wedge soil samples was completed, with base calling and uplink/downlink carried out via satellite internet. Validation of MinION sequencing using the Illumina MiSeq platform was consistent with the results obtained with the MinION. The instrumentation and technology utilized here is pre-existing, low cost, low mass, low volume, and offers the prospect of equipping micro-rovers and micro-penetrators with aggressive astrobiological capabilities. Since potentially habitable astrobiology targets have been identified (RSLs on Mars, near subsurface water ice on Mars, the plumes and oceans of Europa and Enceladus

  8. Climate change and water security with a focus on the Arctic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Birgitta Evengard

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Water is of fundamental importance for human life; access to water of good quality is of vital concern for mankind. Currently however, the situation is under severe pressure due to several stressors that have a clear impact on access to water. In the Arctic, climate change is having an impact on water availability by melting glaciers, decreasing seasonal rates of precipitation, increasing evapotranspiration, and drying lakes and rivers existing in permafrost grounds. Water quality is also being impacted as manmade pollutants stored in the environment are released, lowland areas are flooded with salty ocean water during storms, turbidity from permafrost-driven thaw and erosion is increased, and the growth or emergence of natural pollutants are increased. By 2030 it is estimated that the world will need to produce 50% more food and energy which means a continuous increase in demand for water. Decisionmakers will have to very clearly include life quality aspects of future generations in the work as impact of ongoing changes will be noticeable, in many cases, in the future. This article will focus on effects of climate-change on water security with an Arctic perspective giving some examples from different countries how arising problems are being addressed.

  9. Research Experience for Undergraduates: Understanding the Arctic as a System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexeev, V. A.; Walsh, J. E.; Arp, C. D.; Hock, R.; Euskirchen, E. S.; Kaden, U.; Polyakov, I.; Romanovsky, V. E.; Trainor, S.

    2017-12-01

    Today, more than ever, an integrated cross-disciplinary approach is necessary to understand and explain changes in the Arctic and the implications of those changes. Responding to needs in innovative research and education for understanding high-latitude rapid climate change, scientists at the International Arctic research Center of the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) established a new REU (=Research Experience for Undergraduates) NSF-funded site, aiming to attract more undergraduates to arctic sciences. The science focus of this program, building upon the research strengths of UAF, is on understanding the Arctic as a system with emphasis on its physical component. The goals, which were to disseminate new knowledge at the frontiers of polar science and to ignite the enthusiasm of the undergraduates about the Arctic, are pursued by involving undergraduate students in research and educational projects with their mentors using the available diverse on-campus capabilities. IARC hosted the first group of eight students this past summer, focusing on a variety of different disciplines of the Arctic System Science. Students visited research sites around Fairbanks and in remote parts of Alaska (Toolik Lake Field Station, Gulkana glacier, Bonanza Creek, Poker Flats, the CRREL Permafrost Tunnel and others) to see and experience first-hand how the arctic science is done. Each student worked on a research project guided by an experienced instructor. The summer program culminated with a workshop that consisted of reports from the students about their experiences and the results of their projects.

  10. Characterization and Modeling Of Microbial Carbon Metabolism In Thawing Permafrost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, D. E.; Phelps, T. J.; Xu, X.; Carroll, S.; Jagadamma, S.; Shakya, M.; Thornton, P. E.; Elias, D. A.

    2012-12-01

    Increased annual temperatures in the Arctic are warming the surface and subsurface, resulting in thawing permafrost. Thawing exposes large pools of buried organic carbon to microbial degradation, increasing greenhouse gas generation and emission. Most global-scale land-surface models lack depth-dependent representations of carbon conversion and GHG transport; therefore they do not adequately describe permafrost thawing or microbial mineralization processes. The current work was performed to determine how permafrost thawing at moderately elevated temperatures and anoxic conditions would affect CO2 and CH4 generation, while parameterizing depth-dependent GHG production processes with respect to temperature and pH in biogeochemical models. These enhancements will improve the accuracy of GHG emission predictions and identify key biochemical and geochemical processes for further refinement. Three core samples were obtained from discontinuous permafrost terrain in Fairbanks, AK with a mean annual temperature of -3.3 °C. Each core was sectioned into surface/near surface (0-0.8 m), active layer (0.8-1.6 m), and permafrost (1.6-2.2 m) horizons, which were homogenized for physico-chemical characterization and microcosm construction. Surface samples had low pH values (6.0), low water content (18% by weight), low organic carbon (0.8%), and high C:N ratio (43). Active layer samples had higher pH values (6.4), higher water content (34%), more organic carbon (1.4%) and a lower C:N ratio (24). Permafrost samples had the highest pH (6.5), highest water content (46%), high organic carbon (2.5%) and the lowest C:N ratio (19). Most organic carbon was quantified as labile or intermediate pool versus stable pool in each sample, and all samples had low amounts of carbonate. Surface layer microcosms, containing 20 g sediment in septum-sealed vials, were incubated under oxic conditions, while similar active and permafrost layer samples were anoxic. These microcosms were incubated at -2

  11. Warmer and wetter winters: characteristics and implications of an extreme weather event in the High Arctic

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hansen, Brage B; Isaksen, Ketil; Benestad, Rasmus E; Kohler, Jack; Pedersen, Åshild Ø; Loe, Leif E; Coulson, Stephen J; Larsen, Jan Otto; Varpe, Øystein

    2014-01-01

    One predicted consequence of global warming is an increased frequency of extreme weather events, such as heat waves, droughts, or heavy rainfalls. In parts of the Arctic, extreme warm spells and heavy rain-on-snow (ROS) events in winter are already more frequent. How these weather events impact snow-pack and permafrost characteristics is rarely documented empirically, and the implications for wildlife and society are hence far from understood. Here we characterize and document the effects of an extreme warm spell and ROS event that occurred in High Arctic Svalbard in January–February 2012, during the polar night. In this normally cold semi-desert environment, we recorded above-zero temperatures (up to 7 °C) across the entire archipelago and record-breaking precipitation, with up to 98 mm rainfall in one day (return period of >500 years prior to this event) and 272 mm over the two-week long warm spell. These precipitation amounts are equivalent to 25 and 70% respectively of the mean annual total precipitation. The extreme event caused significant increase in permafrost temperatures down to at least 5 m depth, induced slush avalanches with resultant damage to infrastructure, and left a significant ground-ice cover (∼5–20 cm thick basal ice). The ground-ice not only affected inhabitants by closing roads and airports as well as reducing mobility and thereby tourism income, but it also led to high starvation-induced mortality in all monitored populations of the wild reindeer by blocking access to the winter food source. Based on empirical-statistical downscaling of global climate models run under the moderate RCP4.5 emission scenario, we predict strong future warming with average mid-winter temperatures even approaching 0 °C, suggesting increased frequency of ROS. This will have far-reaching implications for Arctic ecosystems and societies through the changes in snow-pack and permafrost properties. (letter)

  12. Warmer and wetter winters: characteristics and implications of an extreme weather event in the High Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Brage B.; Isaksen, Ketil; Benestad, Rasmus E.; Kohler, Jack; Pedersen, Åshild Ø.; Loe, Leif E.; Coulson, Stephen J.; Larsen, Jan Otto; Varpe, Øystein

    2014-11-01

    One predicted consequence of global warming is an increased frequency of extreme weather events, such as heat waves, droughts, or heavy rainfalls. In parts of the Arctic, extreme warm spells and heavy rain-on-snow (ROS) events in winter are already more frequent. How these weather events impact snow-pack and permafrost characteristics is rarely documented empirically, and the implications for wildlife and society are hence far from understood. Here we characterize and document the effects of an extreme warm spell and ROS event that occurred in High Arctic Svalbard in January-February 2012, during the polar night. In this normally cold semi-desert environment, we recorded above-zero temperatures (up to 7 °C) across the entire archipelago and record-breaking precipitation, with up to 98 mm rainfall in one day (return period of >500 years prior to this event) and 272 mm over the two-week long warm spell. These precipitation amounts are equivalent to 25 and 70% respectively of the mean annual total precipitation. The extreme event caused significant increase in permafrost temperatures down to at least 5 m depth, induced slush avalanches with resultant damage to infrastructure, and left a significant ground-ice cover (˜5-20 cm thick basal ice). The ground-ice not only affected inhabitants by closing roads and airports as well as reducing mobility and thereby tourism income, but it also led to high starvation-induced mortality in all monitored populations of the wild reindeer by blocking access to the winter food source. Based on empirical-statistical downscaling of global climate models run under the moderate RCP4.5 emission scenario, we predict strong future warming with average mid-winter temperatures even approaching 0 °C, suggesting increased frequency of ROS. This will have far-reaching implications for Arctic ecosystems and societies through the changes in snow-pack and permafrost properties.

  13. Ground ice as indicator of the Pleistocene history of the Russian Arctic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. A. Shpolyanskaya

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Based on the analysis of massive ground ice origin, the geological development of the Russian Arctic in the Quaternary period has been considered. A classification of massive ice with two new genetic types (submarine and coastal-marine and new mechanism of their formation have been proposed by the author. The possibility of permafrost formation with massive ice directly in marine environments has been calculated. Significant differences in the geological development of western and eastern Arctic, particularly in the transgressive-regressive mode, have been revealed. This calls into question the leading role of glacial eustatic processes in sea level fluctuations and brings to the fore the role of tectonic processes.

  14. The Arctic as a test case for an assessment of climate impacts on national security.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Taylor, Mark A.; Zak, Bernard Daniel; Backus, George A.; Ivey, Mark D.; Boslough, Mark Bruce Elrick

    2008-11-01

    outside organizations. Because changes in the Arctic environment are happening so rapidly, a successful program will be one that can adapt very quickly to new information as it becomes available, and can provide decision makers with projections on the 1-5 year time scale over which the most disruptive, high-consequence changes are likely to occur. The greatest short-term impact would be to initiate exploratory simulations to discover new emergent and robust phenomena associated with one or more of the following changing systems: Arctic hydrological cycle, sea ice extent, ocean and atmospheric circulation, permafrost deterioration, carbon mobilization, Greenland ice sheet stability, and coastal erosion. Sandia can also contribute to new technology solutions for improved observations in the Arctic, which is currently a data-sparse region. Sensitivity analyses have the potential to identify thresholds which would enable the collaborative development of 'early warning' sensor systems to seek predicted phenomena that might be precursory to major, high-consequence changes. Much of this work will require improved regional climate models and advanced computing capabilities. Socio-economic modeling tools can help define human and national security consequences. Formal uncertainty quantification must be an integral part of any results that emerge from this work.

  15. Quantifying landscape change in an arctic coastal lowland using repeat airborne LiDAR

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jones, Benjamin M; Stoker, Jason M; Gibbs, Ann E; Richmond, Bruce M; Grosse, Guido; Romanovsky, Vladimir E; Douglas, Thomas A; Kinsman, Nicole E M

    2013-01-01

    Increases in air, permafrost, and sea surface temperature, loss of sea ice, the potential for increased wave energy, and higher river discharge may all be interacting to escalate erosion of arctic coastal lowland landscapes. Here we use airborne light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data acquired in 2006 and 2010 to detect landscape change in a 100 km 2 study area on the Beaufort Sea coastal plain of northern Alaska. We detected statistically significant change (99% confidence interval), defined as contiguous areas (>10 m 2 ) that had changed in height by at least 0.55 m, in 0.3% of the study region. Erosional features indicative of ice-rich permafrost degradation were associated with ice-bonded coastal, river, and lake bluffs, frost mounds, ice wedges, and thermo-erosional gullies. These features accounted for about half of the area where vertical change was detected. Inferred thermo-denudation and thermo-abrasion of coastal and river bluffs likely accounted for the dominant permafrost-related degradational processes with respect to area (42%) and volume (51%). More than 300 thermokarst pits significantly subsided during the study period, likely as a result of storm surge flooding of low-lying tundra (<1.4 m asl) as well as the lasting impact of warm summers in the late-1980s and mid-1990s. Our results indicate that repeat airborne LiDAR can be used to detect landscape change in arctic coastal lowland regions at large spatial scales over sub-decadal time periods. (letter)

  16. Distinguishing between old and modern permafrost sources in the northeast Siberian land–shelf system with compound-specific δ2H analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. E. Vonk

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Pleistocene ice complex permafrost deposits contain roughly a quarter of the organic carbon (OC stored in permafrost (PF terrain. When permafrost thaws, its OC is remobilized into the (aquatic environment where it is available for degradation, transport or burial. Aquatic or coastal environments contain sedimentary reservoirs that can serve as archives of past climatic change. As permafrost thaw is increasing throughout the Arctic, these reservoirs are important locations to assess the fate of remobilized permafrost OC.We here present compound-specific deuterium (δ2H analysis on leaf waxes as a tool to distinguish between OC released from thawing Pleistocene permafrost (ice complex deposits; ICD and from thawing Holocene permafrost (from near-surface soils. Bulk geochemistry (%OC; δ13C; %total nitrogen, TN was analyzed as well as the concentrations and δ2H signatures of long-chain n-alkanes (C21 to C33 and mid- to long-chain n-alkanoic acids (C16 to C30 extracted from both ICD-PF samples (n =  9 and modern vegetation and O-horizon (topsoil-PF samples (n =  9 from across the northeast Siberian Arctic. Results show that these topsoil-PF samples have higher %OC, higher OC ∕ TN values and more depleted δ13C-OC values than ICD-PF samples, suggesting that these former samples trace a fresher soil and/or vegetation source. Whereas the two investigated sources differ on the bulk geochemical level, they are, however, virtually indistinguishable when using leaf wax concentrations and ratios. However, on the molecular isotope level, leaf wax biomarker δ2H values are statistically different between topsoil PF and ICD PF. For example, the mean δ2H value of C29 n-alkane was −246 ± 13 ‰ (mean ± SD for topsoil PF and −280 ± 12 ‰ for ICD PF. With a dynamic isotopic range (difference between two sources of 34 to 50 ‰; the isotopic fingerprints of individual, abundant, biomarker molecules from leaf waxes can

  17. Food and water security in a changing arctic climate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    White, Daniel M; Gerlach, S Craig; Loring, Philip; Tidwell, Amy C; Chambers, Molly C

    2007-01-01

    In the Arctic, permafrost extends up to 500 m below the ground surface, and it is generally just the top metre that thaws in summer. Lakes, rivers, and wetlands on the arctic landscape are normally not connected with groundwater in the same way that they are in temperate regions. When the surface is frozen in winter, only lakes deeper than 2 m and rivers with significant flow retain liquid water. Surface water is largely abundant in summer, when it serves as a breeding ground for fish, birds, and mammals. In winter, many mammals and birds are forced to migrate out of the Arctic. Fish must seek out lakes or rivers deep enough to provide good overwintering habitat. Humans in the Arctic rely on surface water in many ways. Surface water meets domestic needs such as drinking, cooking, and cleaning as well as subsistence and industrial demands. Indigenous communities depend on sea ice and waterways for transportation across the landscape and access to traditional country foods. The minerals, mining, and oil and gas industries also use large quantities of surface water during winter to build ice roads and maintain infrastructure. As demand for this limited, but heavily-relied-upon resource continues to increase, it is now more critical than ever to understand the impacts of climate change on food and water security in the Arctic

  18. Climate trends in the Arctic as observed from space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comiso, Josefino C; Hall, Dorothy K

    2014-05-01

    The Arctic is a region in transformation. Warming in the region has been amplified, as expected from ice-albedo feedback effects, with the rate of warming observed to be ∼0.60 ± 0.07°C/decade in the Arctic (>64°N) compared to ∼0.17°C/decade globally during the last three decades. This increase in surface temperature is manifested in all components of the cryosphere. In particular, the sea ice extent has been declining at the rate of ∼3.8%/decade, whereas the perennial ice (represented by summer ice minimum) is declining at a much greater rate of ∼11.5%/decade. Spring snow cover has also been observed to be declining by -2.12%/decade for the period 1967-2012. The Greenland ice sheet has been losing mass at the rate of ∼34.0 Gt/year (sea level equivalence of 0.09 mm/year) during the period from 1992 to 2011, but for the period 2002-2011, a higher rate of mass loss of ∼215 Gt/year has been observed. Also, the mass of glaciers worldwide declined at the rate of 226 Gt/year from 1971 to 2009 and 275 Gt/year from 1993 to 2009. Increases in permafrost temperature have also been measured in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere while a thickening of the active layer that overlies permafrost and a thinning of seasonally frozen ground has also been reported. To gain insight into these changes, comparative analysis with trends in clouds, albedo, and the Arctic Oscillation is also presented. How to cite this article: WIREs Clim Change 2014, 5:389�409. doi: 10.1002/wcc.277.

  19. Collaborative Research: Improving Decadal Prediction of Arctic Climate Variability and Change Using a Regional Arctic

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gutowski, William J. [Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA (United States)

    2017-12-28

    This project developed and applied a regional Arctic System model for enhanced decadal predictions. It built on successful research by four of the current PIs with support from the DOE Climate Change Prediction Program, which has resulted in the development of a fully coupled Regional Arctic Climate Model (RACM) consisting of atmosphere, land-hydrology, ocean and sea ice components. An expanded RACM, a Regional Arctic System Model (RASM), has been set up to include ice sheets, ice caps, mountain glaciers, and dynamic vegetation to allow investigation of coupled physical processes responsible for decadal-scale climate change and variability in the Arctic. RASM can have high spatial resolution (~4-20 times higher than currently practical in global models) to advance modeling of critical processes and determine the need for their explicit representation in Global Earth System Models (GESMs). The pan-Arctic region is a key indicator of the state of global climate through polar amplification. However, a system-level understanding of critical arctic processes and feedbacks needs further development. Rapid climate change has occurred in a number of Arctic System components during the past few decades, including retreat of the perennial sea ice cover, increased surface melting of the Greenland ice sheet, acceleration and thinning of outlet glaciers, reduced snow cover, thawing permafrost, and shifts in vegetation. Such changes could have significant ramifications for global sea level, the ocean thermohaline circulation and heat budget, ecosystems, native communities, natural resource exploration, and commercial transportation. The overarching goal of the RASM project has been to advance understanding of past and present states of arctic climate and to improve seasonal to decadal predictions. To do this the project has focused on variability and long-term change of energy and freshwater flows through the arctic climate system. The three foci of this research are: - Changes

  20. Discovery and characterization of submarine groundwater discharge in the Siberian Arctic seas: a case study in the Buor-Khaya Gulf, Laptev Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charkin, Alexander N.; Rutgers van der Loeff, Michiel; Shakhova, Natalia E.; Gustafsson, Örjan; Dudarev, Oleg V.; Cherepnev, Maxim S.; Salyuk, Anatoly N.; Koshurnikov, Andrey V.; Spivak, Eduard A.; Gunar, Alexey Y.; Ruban, Alexey S.; Semiletov, Igor P.

    2017-10-01

    It has been suggested that increasing terrestrial water discharge to the Arctic Ocean may partly occur as submarine groundwater discharge (SGD), yet there are no direct observations of this phenomenon in the Arctic shelf seas. This study tests the hypothesis that SGD does exist in the Siberian Arctic Shelf seas, but its dynamics may be largely controlled by complicated geocryological conditions such as permafrost. The field-observational approach in the southeastern Laptev Sea used a combination of hydrological (temperature, salinity), geological (bottom sediment drilling, geoelectric surveys), and geochemical (224Ra, 223Ra, 228Ra, and 226Ra) techniques. Active SGD was documented in the vicinity of the Lena River delta with two different operational modes. In the first system, groundwater discharges through tectonogenic permafrost talik zones was registered in both winter and summer. The second SGD mechanism was cryogenic squeezing out of brine and water-soluble salts detected on the periphery of ice hummocks in the winter. The proposed mechanisms of groundwater transport and discharge in the Arctic land-shelf system is elaborated. Through salinity vs. 224Ra and 224Ra / 223Ra diagrams, the three main SGD-influenced water masses were identified and their end-member composition was constrained. Based on simple mass-balance box models, discharge rates at sites in the submarine permafrost talik zone were 1. 7 × 106 m3 d-1 or 19.9 m3 s-1, which is much higher than the April discharge of the Yana River. Further studies should apply these techniques on a broader scale with the objective of elucidating the relative importance of the SGD transport vector relative to surface freshwater discharge for both water balance and aquatic components such as dissolved organic carbon, carbon dioxide, methane, and nutrients.

  1. The impact of permafrost-associated microorganisms on hydrate formation kinetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luzi-Helbing, Manja; Liebner, Susanne; Spangenberg, Erik; Wagner, Dirk; Schicks, Judith M.

    2016-04-01

    The relationship between gas hydrates, microorganisms and the surrounding sediment is extremely complex: On the one hand, microorganisms producing methane provide the prerequisite for gas hydrate formation. As it is known most of the gas incorporated into natural gas hydrates originates from biogenic sources. On the other hand, as a result of microbial activity gas hydrates are surrounded by a great variety of organic compounds which are not incorporated into the hydrate structure but may influence the formation or degradation process. For gas hydrate samples from marine environments such as the Gulf of Mexico a direct association between microbes and gas hydrates was shown by Lanoil et al. 2001. It is further assumed that microorganisms living within the gas hydrate stability zone produce biosurfactants which were found to enhance the hydrate formation process significantly and act as nucleation centres (Roger et al. 2007). Another source of organic compounds is sediment organic matter (SOM) originating from plant material or animal remains which may also enhance hydrate growth. So far, the studies regarding this relationship were focused on a marine environment. The scope of this work is to extend the investigations to microbes originating from permafrost areas. To understand the influence of microbial activity in a permafrost environment on the methane hydrate formation process and the stability conditions of the resulting hydrate phase we will perform laboratory studies. Thereby, we mimic gas hydrate formation in the presence and absence of methanogenic archaea (e.g. Methanosarcina soligelidi) and other psychrophilic bacteria isolated from permafrost environments of the Arctic and Antarctic to investigate their impact on hydrate induction time and formation rates. Our results may contribute to understand and predict the occurrences and behaviour of potential gas hydrates within or adjacent to the permafrost. Lanoil BD, Sassen R, La Duc MT, Sweet ST, Nealson KH

  2. Sources, degradation and transport of terrigenous organic carbon on the East Siberian Arctic Shelf Seas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tesi, Tommaso; Semiletov, Igor; Dudarev, Oleg; Gustafsson, Örjan

    2013-04-01

    Recent studies suggest that the present hydrological regime increase observed in the Arctic rivers is mainly the consequence of the changes in permafrost conditions as a result of climate warming. Given the enormous amount of carbon stored in coastal and terrestrial permafrost the potentially increased supply from this large carbon pool to the coastal Arctic Ocean, possibly associated with a translocated release to the atmosphere as CO2, is considered a plausible scenario in a warming climate. However, there is not sufficient information regarding the reactivity of terrigenous material once supplied to the Arctic Ocean. In this study, we address this critical issue by examining the organic composition of surface sediments collected over extensive scales on the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS) as part of the International Siberian Shelf Study (ISSS). The ESAS represents by far the largest shelf of the Arctic Ocean. Samples were collected from the inner- to the outer-shelf following the sediment transport pathway in a region between the Lena and the Kolyma rivers. The analytical approach includes the characterization of marine and land-derived carbon using a large number of molecular biomarkers obtained by alkaline CuO oxidation such as lignin-phenols, cutin-derived products, p-hydroxy benzenes, benzoic acids, fatty acids, and dicarboxylic acids. Our results indicated high concentrations of terrigenous material in shallow sediments and a marked decrease of terrestrial biomarkers with increasing distance from the coastline. In parallel, lignin-based degradation proxies suggested highly altered terrigenous carbon in mid- and outer-shelf sediments compared to coastal sediments. Furthermore, the ratio of cutin-derived products over lignin significantly increased along the sediment transport pathway. Considering that cutin is considered to be intrinsically more reactive compared to lignin, high values of this ratio off the coastal region were interpreted as selective

  3. Dynamics of aboveground phytomass of the circumpolar Arctic tundra during the past three decades

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Epstein, Howard E; Raynolds, Martha K; Walker, Donald A; Bhatt, Uma S; Tucker, Compton J; Pinzon, Jorge E

    2012-01-01

    Numerous studies have evaluated the dynamics of Arctic tundra vegetation throughout the past few decades, using remotely sensed proxies of vegetation, such as the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). While extremely useful, these coarse-scale satellite-derived measurements give us minimal information with regard to how these changes are being expressed on the ground, in terms of tundra structure and function. In this analysis, we used a strong regression model between NDVI and aboveground tundra phytomass, developed from extensive field-harvested measurements of vegetation biomass, to estimate the biomass dynamics of the circumpolar Arctic tundra over the period of continuous satellite records (1982–2010). We found that the southernmost tundra subzones (C–E) dominate the increases in biomass, ranging from 20 to 26%, although there was a high degree of heterogeneity across regions, floristic provinces, and vegetation types. The estimated increase in carbon of the aboveground live vegetation of 0.40 Pg C over the past three decades is substantial, although quite small relative to anthropogenic C emissions. However, a 19.8% average increase in aboveground biomass has major implications for nearly all aspects of tundra ecosystems including hydrology, active layer depths, permafrost regimes, wildlife and human use of Arctic landscapes. While spatially extensive on-the-ground measurements of tundra biomass were conducted in the development of this analysis, validation is still impossible without more repeated, long-term monitoring of Arctic tundra biomass in the field. (letter)

  4. Dynamics of Aboveground Phytomass of the Circumpolar Arctic Tundra During the Past Three Decades

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epstein, Howard E.; Raynolds, Martha K.; Walker, Donald A.; Bhatt, Uma S.; Tucker, Compton J.; Pinzon, Jorge E.

    2012-01-01

    Numerous studies have evaluated the dynamics of Arctic tundra vegetation throughout the past few decades, using remotely sensed proxies of vegetation, such as the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). While extremely useful, these coarse-scale satellite-derived measurements give us minimal information with regard to how these changes are being expressed on the ground, in terms of tundra structure and function. In this analysis, we used a strong regression model between NDVI and aboveground tundra phytomass, developed from extensive field-harvested measurements of vegetation biomass, to estimate the biomass dynamics of the circumpolar Arctic tundra over the period of continuous satellite records (1982-2010). We found that the southernmost tundra subzones (C-E) dominate the increases in biomass, ranging from 20 to 26%, although there was a high degree of heterogeneity across regions, floristic provinces, and vegetation types. The estimated increase in carbon of the aboveground live vegetation of 0.40 Pg C over the past three decades is substantial, although quite small relative to anthropogenic C emissions. However, a 19.8% average increase in aboveground biomass has major implications for nearly all aspects of tundra ecosystems including hydrology, active layer depths, permafrost regimes, wildlife and human use of Arctic landscapes. While spatially extensive on-the-ground measurements of tundra biomass were conducted in the development of this analysis, validation is still impossible without more repeated, long-term monitoring of Arctic tundra biomass in the field.

  5. Arctic Research Mapping Application (ARMAP): visualize project-level information for U.S. funded research in the Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kassin, A.; Cody, R. P.; Barba, M.; Escarzaga, S. M.; Score, R.; Dover, M.; Gaylord, A. G.; Manley, W. F.; Habermann, T.; Tweedie, C. E.

    2015-12-01

    The Arctic Research Mapping Application (ARMAP; http://armap.org/) is a suite of online applications and data services that support Arctic science by providing project tracking information (who's doing what, when and where in the region) for United States Government funded projects. In collaboration with 17 research agencies, project locations are displayed in a visually enhanced web mapping application. Key information about each project is presented along with links to web pages that provide additional information. The mapping application includes new reference data layers and an updated ship tracks layer. Visual enhancements are achieved by redeveloping the front-end from FLEX to HTML5 and JavaScript, which now provide access to mobile users utilizing tablets and cell phone devices. New tools have been added that allow users to navigate, select, draw, measure, print, use a time slider, and more. Other module additions include a back-end Apache SOLR search platform that provides users with the capability to perform advance searches throughout the ARMAP database. Furthermore, a new query builder interface has been developed in order to provide more intuitive controls to generate complex queries. These improvements have been made to increase awareness of projects funded by numerous entities in the Arctic, enhance coordination for logistics support, help identify geographic gaps in research efforts and potentially foster more collaboration amongst researchers working in the region. Additionally, ARMAP can be used to demonstrate past, present, and future research efforts supported by the U.S. Government.

  6. Permafrost at its limits: The most easterly evidence of existing permafrost in the European Alps as indicated by ground temperature and geoelectrical measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellerer-Pirklbauer, A.; Kühnast, B.

    2009-04-01

    Mountain permafrost is a widespread phenomenon in alpine regions in the European Alps. For instance, some 2000 km² or 4% of the Austrian Alps are underlain by permafrost. Up to recent times most research on permafrost issues in Austria focused on the central and highest section of the Austrian Alps. By contrast, knowledge concerning marginal permafrost zones is fairly limited. To increase knowledge about the easternmost limit of permafrost in the European Alps, a research project focusing on the Seckauer Tauern Mountains (14°30'E to 15°00'E) and particularly on the Hochreichart area was initiated in 2004 by the first author. Since then, different methods have been applied such as e.g. geomorphic mapping, numerical permafrost modelling, multi-annual BTS measurements (since 2004) or continuous ground surface and near ground surface temperature measurements by miniature temperature data loggers/MTDs (since 2004). In order to verify the temperature data and to extend the spatial knowledge about permafrost distribution beyond point information, a geoelectrical survey was carried out at the end of August 2008 by applying the electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) method along a 120 m long profile covering the upper part of the rooting zone of a (more-or-less) relict rock glacier and the talus slope above. For this survey the two-dimensional (2D) electrical surveys was performed using the Wenner-Alfa configuration with 2.5 m spacing and an LGM-Lippmann 4-Punkt light hp resistivity-meter. The ERT results indicate an active layer of 2 to 4 m underlain by a permafrost body along 3/4 of the entire profile with resistivity values between 50 to 100 kOhm.m and extending to a depth of 10 to 15 m. The permafrost body is substantially thicker at the lower part of the profile (rock glacier; first 50 m of profile) compared to most of the upper part (talus slope). Focusing on the talus slope, the permafrost body is thickest on the central section of the profile (~5-6 m thickness

  7. Demequina lutea sp. nov., isolated from a high Arctic permafrost soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finster, Kai Waldemar; Herbert, Rodney Andrew; Kjeldsen, Kasper Urup; Schumann, Peter; Lomstein, Bente Aagaard

    2009-04-01

    Two Gram-stain-positive, pigmented, non-motile, non-spore-forming, pleomorphic, rod-shaped bacteria (strains SV45(T) and SV47), isolated from a permafrost soil collected from the Adventdalen valley, Spitsbergen, northern Norway, have been characterized taxonomically using a polyphasic approach. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed that the two permafrost isolates formed a distinct phyletic line within the suborder Micrococcineae of the order Actinomycetales. DNA-DNA hybridization analyses indicate that strains SV45(T) and SV47 are closely related (60-69 % relatedness) and belong to the same species, although they show slightly different colony pigmentation. The closest phylogenetic neighbour was Demequina aestuarii JC2054(T), with 96 % 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity. Optimum growth of SV45(T) and SV47 occurred aerobically in the absence of NaCl, but both isolates tolerated up to 2 % NaCl (w/v) in the growth medium. Growth under anaerobic conditions was slow and weak. The peptidoglycan of both isolates was of the A4beta type with l-ornithine as the diamino acid and serine as a component of the interpeptide bridge with either d-aspartate (SV45(T)) or d-glutamate (SV47) as the N-terminal amino acid. The major fatty acids present in both isolates were C(15 : 0) (3.2-8.6 %), iso-C(16 : 0) (5.0-8.9 %), anteiso-C(15 : 0) (59.4-61.5 %), anteiso-C(17 : 0) (4.1-8.8 %) and anteiso-C(15 : 1) (4.4-6.4 %). Isoprenoid quinones were present at exceptionally low levels in both isolates, and only demethylmenaquinone DMK-9(H(4)) could be identified with any degree of confidence. Phylogenetic analysis and differences in physiological and biochemical characteristics between the strains and Demequina aestuarii JC2054(T) indicate that these isolates belong to a novel species within the genus Demequina, for which the name Demequina lutea sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is SV45(T) (=LMG 24795(T) =DSM 19970(T)).

  8. Carbon Stocks in Permafrost-Affected Soils of the Lena River Delta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zubrzycki, S.; Kutzbach, L.; Grosse, G.; Desyatkin, A.; Pfeiffer, E.

    2012-12-01

    The soil organic carbon stock (SSOC) of soils in arctic permafrost regions is known to be significant but is insufficiently investigated so far. Previous SSOC studies report mainly the gravimetric carbon (C) contents and are limited to the active layer depth at the time of sampling. Since C deposits in permafrost regions are likely to become a future C source, more detailed investigations of the presently frozen likely carbon-rich sediment and soil layers are of importance. Our investigations were performed on Samoylov Island in the southern-central part of the Lena River Delta (32,000 km2) which is the largest arctic delta and the fifth largest delta worldwide. Samoylov Island is representative for the Lena River Delta's first terrace and the active floodplains. Within this study a new portable Snow-Ice-Permafrost-Research-Establishment (SIPRE) auger was used during a spring field session to obtain 1 m deep frozen soil cores (n = 29) distributed over all known soil and vegetation units. These cores are analyzed for bulk contents of nitrogen (N) and C, ice content and bulk density (BD) and to determine the SSOC including the rarely investigated currently permanently frozen layers up to 1 m depth on Samoylov Island. Our study provides evidence for high SSOC for a depth of 1 m for the investigated area ranging between 7 kg m-2 and 48 kg m-2. Considering the spatial extent of different soil units on the two geomorphological units of Samoylov Island, the area-weighted average SSOC were 29 kg m-2 (n = 22) for the first terrace and 14 kg m-2 (n = 7) for the active floodplain. For the correspondent soil units of Turbels and Orthels in circumpolar permafrost regions a mean SSOC of 27 kg m-2 (min: 0.1 kg m-2, max: 126 kg m-2) for a depth of 1 m was reported [1]. For up-scaling solely over the soil-covered areas of the Lena River Delta, we excluded all water bodies >3,600 m2 from the geomorphological units studied (first river terrace and the active floodplains) and

  9. Measuring the Impact of Wildfire on Active Layer Thickness in a Discontinuous Permafrost region using Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michaelides, R. J.; Schaefer, K. M.; Zebker, H. A.; Liu, L.; Chen, J.; Parsekian, A.

    2017-12-01

    In permafrost regions, the active layer is defined as the uppermost portion of the permafrost table that is subject to annual freeze/thaw cycles. The active layer plays a crucial role in surface processes, surface hydrology, and vegetation succession; furthermore, trapped methane, carbon dioxide, and other greenhouse gases in permafrost are released into the atmosphere as permafrost thaws. A detailed understanding of active layer dynamics is therefore critical towards understanding the interactions between permafrost surface processes, freeze/thaw cycles, and climate-especially in regions across the Arctic subject to long-term permafrost degradation. The Yukon-Kuskokwim (YK) delta in southwestern Alaska is a region of discontinuous permafrost characterized by surface lakes, wetlands, and thermokarst depressions. Furthermore, extensive wildfires have burned across the YK delta in 2006, 2007, and 2015, impacting vegetation cover, surface soil moisture, and the active layer. Using data from the ALOS PALSAR, ALOS-2 PALSAR-2, and Sentinel-1A/B space borne synthetic aperture radar (SAR) systems, we generate a series of interferograms over a study site in the YK delta spanning 2007-2011, and 2014-present. Using the ReSALT (Remotely-Sensed Active Layer Thickness) technique, we demonstrate that active layer can be characterized over most of the site from the relative interferometric phase difference due to ground subsidence and rebound associated with the seasonal active layer freeze/thaw cycle. Additionally, we show that this technique successfully discriminates between burned and unburned regions, and can resolve increases in active layer thickness in burned regions on the order of 10's of cms. We use the time series of interferograms to discuss permafrost recovery following wildfire burn, and compare our InSAR observations with GPR and active layer probing data from a 2016 summer field campaign to the study site. Finally, we compare the advantages and disadvantages of

  10. Permafrost Hazards and Linear Infrastructure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanilovskaya, Julia; Sergeev, Dmitry

    2014-05-01

    The international experience of linear infrastructure planning, construction and exploitation in permafrost zone is being directly tied to the permafrost hazard assessment. That procedure should also consider the factors of climate impact and infrastructure protection. The current global climate change hotspots are currently polar and mountain areas. Temperature rise, precipitation and land ice conditions change, early springs occur more often. The big linear infrastructure objects cross the territories with different permafrost conditions which are sensitive to the changes in air temperature, hydrology, and snow accumulation which are connected to climatic dynamics. One of the most extensive linear structures built on permafrost worldwide are Trans Alaskan Pipeline (USA), Alaska Highway (Canada), Qinghai-Xizang Railway (China) and Eastern Siberia - Pacific Ocean Oil Pipeline (Russia). Those are currently being influenced by the regional climate change and permafrost impact which may act differently from place to place. Thermokarst is deemed to be the most dangerous process for linear engineering structures. Its formation and development depend on the linear structure type: road or pipeline, elevated or buried one. Zonal climate and geocryological conditions are also of the determining importance here. All the projects are of the different age and some of them were implemented under different climatic conditions. The effects of permafrost thawing have been recorded every year since then. The exploration and transportation companies from different countries maintain the linear infrastructure from permafrost degradation in different ways. The highways in Alaska are in a good condition due to governmental expenses on annual reconstructions. The Chara-China Railroad in Russia is under non-standard condition due to intensive permafrost response. Standards for engineering and construction should be reviewed and updated to account for permafrost hazards caused by the

  11. Organic Carbon Delivery from a High-Arctic North American Watershed: Implications for Beaufort Sea Carbon Cycling in a Changing Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schreiner, K. M.; Bruner, V. J.; Kessler, J. D.

    2016-12-01

    Riverine delivery of terrestrial organic carbon (OC) and subsequent burial in coastal margins is a significant sink for OC on Earth. The amount of fresh OC compared to old OC buried in coastal margins affects the long-term ratio of O2 to CO2 in the atmosphere. And yet, the fate of OC on marine shelves is not well known. Analysis of the fate of terrestrial OC from Arctic rivers are especially important, as half of the global soil carbon pool resides in the top few meters of Arctic permafrost soils, and much of this OC, more than twice the amount of carbon currently residing in the atmospheric CO2 pool, is thousands of years old and under threat of disturbance from a warming Arctic climate. Flux of this old, deeply-buried permafrost OC to coastal sediments has already been noted in both the Russian and Alaskan Arctic. This study focuses on OC delivered by the Colville River, a medium-sized North American Arctic river that drains the North Slope of Alaska, and has been previously shown to be an important source of extremely old OC to coastal Beaufort Sea sediments. Here we report stable carbon isotopes and radiocarbon ages of particulate OC (POC), dissolved OC (DOC), and surface sediments from the Beaufort Sea near the Colville River outflow and nearby Simpson Lagoon from samples collected in August 2015. In general, DOC ages are younger than POC ages, and both have stable isotope signatures indicative of terrestrial C3 sources. Waters with higher concentrations of DOC tend to have younger radiocarbon ages and more enriched stable isotope signatures, indicating the presence of aquatic primary production. These data represent some of the first water column radiocarbon signatures to be reported from an Arctic river the size of the Colville; while the six largest Arctic rivers have been well studied over the past few decades, much less data is available for small and medium sized Arctic rivers.

  12. Data analysis and mapping of the mountain permafrost distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deluigi, Nicola; Lambiel, Christophe; Kanevski, Mikhail

    2017-04-01

    the permafrost occurrence where it is unknown, the mentioned supervised learning techniques inferred a classification function from labelled training data (pixels of permafrost absence and presence). A particular attention was given to the pre-processing of the dataset, with the study of its complexity and the relation between permafrost data and employed environmental variables. The application of feature selection techniques completed this analysis and informed about redundant or valueless predictors. Classification performances were assessed with AUROC on independent validation sets (0.81 for LR, 0.85 with SVM and 0.88 with RF). At the micro scale obtained permafrost maps illustrate consistent results compared to the field reality thanks to the high resolution of the dataset (10 meters). Moreover, compared to classical models, the permafrost prediction is computed without recurring to altitude thresholds (above which permafrost may be found). Finally, as machine learning is a non-deterministic approach, mountain permafrost distribution maps are presented and discussed with corresponding uncertainties maps, which provide information on the quality of the results.

  13. Microbial populations in Antarctic permafrost: biodiversity, state, age, and implication for astrobiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilichinsky, D A; Wilson, G S; Friedmann, E I; McKay, C P; Sletten, R S; Rivkina, E M; Vishnivetskaya, T A; Erokhina, L G; Ivanushkina, N E; Kochkina, G A; Shcherbakova, V A; Soina, V S; Spirina, E V; Vorobyova, E A; Fyodorov-Davydov, D G; Hallet, B; Ozerskaya, S M; Sorokovikov, V A; Laurinavichyus, K S; Shatilovich, A V; Chanton, J P; Ostroumov, V E; Tiedje, J M

    2007-04-01

    Antarctic permafrost soils have not received as much geocryological and biological study as has been devoted to the ice sheet, though the permafrost is more stable and older and inhabited by more microbes. This makes these soils potentially more informative and a more significant microbial repository than ice sheets. Due to the stability of the subsurface physicochemical regime, Antarctic permafrost is not an extreme environment but a balanced natural one. Up to 10(4) viable cells/g, whose age presumably corresponds to the longevity of the permanently frozen state of the sediments, have been isolated from Antarctic permafrost. Along with the microbes, metabolic by-products are preserved. This presumed natural cryopreservation makes it possible to observe what may be the oldest microbial communities on Earth. Here, we describe the Antarctic permafrost habitat and biodiversity and provide a model for martian ecosystems.

  14. International Field School on Permafrost: Yenisei, Russian Federation - 2013

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nyland, K. E.; Streletskiy, D. A.; Grebenets, V. I.

    2013-12-01

    The International Field School on Permafrost was established in Russia as part of International Polar Year activities. The first course was offered in 2007 in Northwestern Siberia and attracted students from Russia, Germany, and the United States. Over the past seven years undergraduate and graduate students representing eight different countries in North America, Europe, and Asia have participated in the field school. This annual summer field course visits different regions of the Russian Arctic each year, but the three course foci remain consistent, which are to make in depth examinations of, 1) natural permafrost characteristics and conditions, 2) field techniques and applications, and 3) engineering practices and construction on permafrost. During these field courses students participate in excursions to local museums and exhibitions, meet with representatives from local administrations, mining and construction industries, and learn field techniques for complex permafrost investigations, including landscape and soil descriptions, temperature monitoring, active-layer measurements, cryostratigraphy, and more. During these courses students attend an evening lecture series by their professors and also give presentations on various regionally oriented topics of interest, such as the local geology, climate, or historical development of the region. This presentation will relate this summer's (July 2013) field course which took place in the Yenisei River region of central Siberia. The course took place along a bioclimatic transect from south to north along the Yenisei River and featured extended stays in the cities of Igarka and Noril'sk. This year's students (undergraduate, masters, and one PhD student) represented universities in the United States, Canada, and the Russian Federation. The organization of this course was accomplished through the cooperation of The George Washington University's Department of Geography and the Lomonosov Moscow State University

  15. Using Distributed Fiber Optic Sensing to Monitor Large Scale Permafrost Transitions: Preliminary Results from a Controlled Thaw Experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ajo Franklin, J. B.; Wagner, A. M.; Lindsey, N.; Dou, S.; Bjella, K.; Daley, T. M.; Freifeld, B. M.; Ulrich, C.; Gelvin, A.; Morales, A.; James, S. R.; Saari, S.; Ekblaw, I.; Wood, T.; Robertson, M.; Martin, E. R.

    2016-12-01

    In a warming world, permafrost landscapes are being rapidly transformed by thaw, yielding surface subsidence and groundwater flow alteration. The same transformations pose a threat to arctic infrastructure and can induce catastrophic failure of the roads, runways, and pipelines on which human habitation depends. Scalable solutions to monitoring permafrost thaw dynamics are required to both quantitatively understand biogeochemical feedbacks as well as to protect built infrastructure from damage. Unfortunately, permafrost alteration happens over the time scale of climate change, years to decades, a decided challenge for testing new sensing technologies in a limited context. One solution is to engineer systems capable of rapidly thawing large permafrost units to allow short duration experiments targeting next-generation sensing approaches. We present preliminary results from a large-scale controlled permafrost thaw experiment designed to evaluate the utility of different geophysical approaches for tracking the cause, precursors, and early phases of thaw subsidence. We focus on the use of distributed fiber optic sensing for this challenge and deployed distributed temperature (DTS), strain (DSS), and acoustic (DAS) sensing systems in a 2D array to detect thaw signatures. A 10 x 15 x 1 m section of subsurface permafrost was heated using an array of 120 downhole heaters (60 w) at an experimental site near Fairbanks, AK. Ambient noise analysis of DAS datasets collected at the plot, coupled to shear wave inversion, was utilized to evaluate changes in shear wave velocity associated with heating and thaw. These measurements were confirmed by seismic surveys collected using a semi-permanent orbital seismic source activated on a daily basis. Fiber optic measurements were complemented by subsurface thermistor and thermocouple arrays, timelapse total station surveys, LIDAR, secondary seismic measurements (geophone and broadband recordings), timelapse ERT, borehole NMR, soil

  16. Dissolved Organic Matter Land-Ocean Linkages in the Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mann, P. J.; Spencer, R. M.; Hernes, P. J.; Tank, S. E.; Striegl, R.; Dyda, R. Y.; Peterson, B. J.; McClelland, J. W.; Holmes, R. M.

    2012-04-01

    Rivers draining into the Arctic Ocean exhibit high concentrations of terrigenous dissolved organic carbon (DOC), and recent studies indicate that DOC export is changing due to climatic warming and alteration in permafrost condition. The fate of exported DOC in the Arctic Ocean is important for understanding the regional carbon cycle and remains a point of discussion in the literature. As part of the NSF funded Arctic Great Rivers Observatory (Arctic-GRO) project, samples were collected for DOC, chromophoric and fluorescent dissolved organic matter (CDOM & FDOM) and lignin phenols from the Ob', Yenisey, Lena, Kolyma, Mackenzie and Yukon rivers in 2009 - 2010. DOC and lignin concentrations were elevated during the spring freshet and measurements related to DOC composition indicated an increasing contribution from terrestrial vascular plant sources at this time of year (e.g. lignin carbon-normalized yield, CDOM spectral slope, SUVA254, humic-like fluorescence). CDOM absorption was found to correlate strongly with both DOC (r2=0.83) and lignin concentration (r2=0.92) across the major arctic rivers. Lignin composition was also successfully modeled using FDOM measurements decomposed using PARAFAC analysis. Utilizing these relationships we modeled loads for DOC and lignin export from high-resolution CDOM measurements (daily across the freshet) to derive improved flux estimates, particularly from the dynamic spring discharge maxima period when the majority of DOC and lignin export occurs. The new load estimates for DOC and lignin are higher than previous evaluations, emphasizing that if these are more representative of current arctic riverine export, terrigenous DOC is transiting through the Arctic Ocean at a faster rate than previously thought. It is apparent that higher resolution sampling of arctic rivers is exceptionally valuable with respect to deriving accurate fluxes and we highlight the potential of CDOM in this role for future studies and the applicability of in

  17. Soil Organic Carbon Stocks in Arctic Deltaic Sediments: Investigations in the Lena River Delta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zubrzycki, S.; Kutzbach, L.; Desyatkin, A.; Pfeiffer, E.-M.

    2012-04-01

    The soil organic carbon stock (SSOC) of deltaic sediments in arctic permafrost regions is known to be significant but is insufficiently investigated so far. Previous SSOC studies were conducted mainly in the comparatively well studied Mackenzie River Delta (area: 13,000 km2) in Canada. The few studies from other arctic delta regions report only the gravimetric carbon (C) contents and are limited to the active layer depth at the time of sampling. Since C deposits in permafrost regions are likely to become a future C source, more detailed investigations of the presently frozen likely carbon-rich sediment and soil layers in other arctic delta regions are of importance. Our investigations were performed on Samoylov Island in the southern-central part of the Lena River Delta (32,000 km2) which is the largest arctic delta and the fifth largest delta worldwide. Samoylov Island is representative for the Lena River Delta's first terrace and the active floodplains. Within this study a new portable Snow-Ice-Permafrost-Research-Establishment (SIPRE) auger was used during a spring field session to obtain 1 m deep frozen soil cores (n = 37) distributed over all known soil and vegetation units. These cores are analyzed for bulk contents of nitrogen (N) and C, ice content and bulk density (BD) and to determine the SSOC including the rarely investigated currently permanently frozen layers up to 1 m depth on Samoylov Island. Our study provides evidence for high SSOC for a depth of 1 m for the investigated area ranging between 6 kg m2 and 54 kg m2. Considering the spatial extent of different soil units on the two geomorphological units of Samoylov Island, the area-weighted average SSOC were 31 kg m2 (n = 31) for the first terrace and 15 kg m2 (n = 6) for the active floodplain. For the correspondent soil units of Turbels and Orthels in circumpolar permafrost regions, Tarnocai et al. 2009 reported a mean SSOC of 27 kg m2 (min: 0.1 kg m2, max: 126 kg m2) for a depth of 1 m. For up

  18. Permafrost thaw and climate warming may decrease the CO2, carbon, and metal concentration in peat soil waters of the Western Siberia Lowland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raudina, T V; Loiko, S V; Lim, A; Manasypov, R M; Shirokova, L S; Istigechev, G I; Kuzmina, D M; Kulizhsky, S P; Vorobyev, S N; Pokrovsky, O S

    2018-09-01

    Soil pore waters are a vital component of the ecosystem as they are efficient tracers of mineral weathering, plant litter leaching, and nutrient uptake by vegetation. In the permafrost environment, maximal hydraulic connectivity and element transport from soils to rivers and lakes occurs via supra-permafrost flow (i.e. water, gases, suspended matter, and solutes migration over the permafrost table). To assess possible consequences of permafrost thaw and climate warming on carbon and Green House gases (GHG) dynamics we used a "substituting space for time" approach in the largest frozen peatland of the world. We sampled stagnant supra-permafrost (active layer) waters in peat columns of western Siberia Lowland (WSL) across substantial gradients of climate (-4.0 to -9.1°C mean annual temperature, 360 to 600mm annual precipitation), active layer thickness (ALT) (>300 to 40cm), and permafrost coverage (sporadic, discontinuous and continuous). We analyzed CO 2 , CH 4 , dissolved carbon, and major and trace elements (TE) in 93 soil pit samples corresponding to several typical micro landscapes constituting the WSL territory (peat mounds, hollows, and permafrost subsidences and depressions). We expected a decrease in intensity of DOC and TE mobilization from soil and vegetation litter to the supra-permafrost water with increasing permafrost coverage, decreasing annual temperature and ALT along a latitudinal transect from 62.3°N to 67.4°N. However, a number of solutes (DOC, CO 2 , alkaline earth metals, Si, trivalent and tetravalent hydrolysates, and micronutrients (Mn, Co, Ni, Cu, V, Mo) exhibited a northward increasing trend with highest concentrations within the continuous permafrost zone. Within the "substituting space for time" climate change scenario and northward shift of the permafrost boundary, our results suggest that CO 2 , DOC, and many major and trace elements will decrease their concentration in soil supra-permafrost waters at the boundary between thaw and

  19. Degradation and Local Survival of Permafrost Through the Last Interglaciation in Interior Alaska and Yukon Territory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyes, A. V.; Froese, D. G.; Jensen, B. J.

    2006-12-01

    Permafrost in northern North America is warming, and recent modeling efforts have predicted the widespread disappearance of permafrost through much of the northern hemisphere over the next century. However, little is known of the impacts of past sustained warm intervals on permafrost dynamics, antiquity, and distribution due to difficulties in establishing reliable chronologies. Permafrost thus remains the last element of the Arctic cryosphere for which there is poor understanding of its adaptability to past warmer-than-present climate. Here we present observations from three sites in the region of interior Alaska and Yukon Territory that remained ice-free during Plio-Pleistocene glaciations, which collectively demonstrate the variable nature of the response of permafrost to warming during the last interglaciation. Chronology for all sites is based on identification of Old Crow tephra (OCt; 140±10 ka) by glass major element composition. Throughout the study region, OCt is consistently associated with organic-rich sediments that represent the last interglaciation on the basis of pollen, insect, and macrofossil assemblages. At the Palisades site on the Yukon River, 250 km west of Fairbanks, OCt is 1.5-3.5 m below thick (>1m) organic-rich silts and peats that are locally rich in beaver-chewed wood and large wood stumps, some of which are in growth position. In contrast, placer mining at Thistle Creek in central Yukon Territory exposes a dramatic thaw unconformity that is presumably related to local, but incomplete, permafrost degradation during the last interglaciation. In upslope positions at Thistle Creek, OCt is incorporated into a steeply dipping, 30 cm thick, organic-rich silt horizon that truncates at least one intact, relict ice wedge. The steeply dipping organic- rich horizon grades downslope into organic-rich silt with dense accumulations of wood fragments, including tree stems up to 2 m long. Evidence for similar permafrost degradation during the last

  20. Coupled thermo-geophysical inversion for high-latitude permafrost monitoring - assessment of the method and practical considerations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomaskovicova, Sonia; Paamand, Eskild; Ingeman-Nielsen, Thomas; Bauer-Gottwein, Peter

    2013-04-01

    The sedimentary settings of West Greenlandic towns with their fine-grained, often ice-rich marine deposits are of great concern in building and construction projects in Greenland, as they lose volume, strength and bearing capacity upon thaw. Since extensive permafrost thawing over large areas of inhabited Greenlandic coast has been predicted as a result of climate change, it is of great both technical and economical interest to assess the extent and thermal properties of such formations. Availability of methods able to determine the thermal parameters of permafrost and forecast its reaction to climate evolution is therefore crucial for sustainable infrastructure planning and development in the Arctic. We are developing a model of heat transport for permafrost able to assess the thermal properties of the ground based on calibration by surface geoelectrical measurements and ground surface temperature measurements. The advantages of modeling approach and use of exclusively surface measurements (in comparison with direct measurements on core samples) are smaller environmental impact, cheaper logistics, assessment of permafrost conditions over larger areas and possibility of forecasting of the fate of permafrost by application of climate forcing. In our approach, the heat model simulates temperature distribution in the ground based on ground surface temperature, specified proportions of the ground constituents and their estimated thermal parameters. The calculated temperatures in the specified model layers are governing the phase distribution between unfrozen water and ice. The changing proportion of unfrozen water content as function of temperature is the main parameter driving the evolution of electrical properties of the ground. We use a forward modeling scheme to calculate the apparent resistivity distribution of such a ground as if collected from a surface geoelectrical array. The calculated resistivity profile is compared to actual field measurements and a

  1. Research Article: Effects of long-term simulated Martian conditions on a freeze-dried and homogenized bacterial permafrost community

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Aviaja Anna; Jensen, Lars Liengård; Kristoffersen, Tommy

    2009-01-01

    Indigenous bacteria and biomolecules (DNA and proteins) in a freeze-dried and homogenized Arctic permafrost were exposed to simulated martian conditions that correspond to about 80 days on the surface of Mars with respect to the accumulated UV dose. The simulation conditions included UV radiation......, freeze-thaw cycles, the atmospheric gas composition, and pressure. The homogenized permafrost cores were subjected to repeated cycles of UV radiation for 3 h followed by 27 h without irradiation. The effects of the simulation conditions on the concentrations of biomolecules; numbers of viable, dead......, and cultured bacteria; as well as the community structure were determined. Simulated martian conditions resulted in a significant reduction of the concentrations of DNA and amino acids in the uppermost 1.5 mm of the soil core. The total number of bacterial cells was reduced in the upper 9 mm of the soil core...

  2. Permafrost slowly exhales methane

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herndon, Elizabeth M.

    2018-04-01

    Permafrost soils store vast quantities of organic matter that are vulnerable to decomposition under a warming climate. Recent research finds that methane release from thawing permafrost may outpace carbon dioxide as a major contributor to global warming over the next century.

  3. Evaluation of Electromagnetic Induction (EMI) Resistivity Technologies for Assessing Permafrost Geomorphologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-08-01

    resistivity, have been used to interrogate the subsur- face in permafrost terrains at the meters to kilometers scales. Airborne measurement techniques have...burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden to Department of Defense... interrogate the subsurface in permafrost terrains at the meters to kilometers scales. Airborne measurement techniques have broad applicability at the

  4. Continuous recording of seismic signals in Alpine permafrost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hausmann, H.; Krainer, K.; Staudinger, M.; Brückl, E.

    2009-04-01

    three different types of applications. It enabled fast and efficient field work and provided excellent seismic data at two permafrost sites. At Krummgampen Valley (Ötztal Alps, Tyrol) 13 seismic profiles were measured at altitudes ranging from 2400 to 2900 m to assess information on the permafrost occurrences. At the crest of Hoher Sonnblick (3106 m, Hohe Tauern, Salzburg) seismic signals were recorded on 15 borehole geophones deployed in three 20 m deep boreholes for the application of seismic tomography and passive monitoring of rock falls.

  5. Modeling Lake Storage Dynamics to support Arctic Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vimal, S.; Lettenmaier, D. P.; Smith, L. C.; Smith, S.; Bowling, L. C.; Pavelsky, T.

    2017-12-01

    The Arctic and Boreal Zone (ABZ) of Canada and Alaska includes vast areas of permafrost, lakes, and wetlands. Permafrost thawing in this area is expected to increase due to the projected rise of temperature caused by climate change. Over the long term, this may reduce overall surface water area, but in the near-term, the opposite is being observed, with rising paludification (lake/wetland expansion). One element of NASA's ABoVE field experiment is observations of lake and wetland extent and surface elevations using NASA's AirSWOT airborne interferometric radar, accompanied by a high-resolution camera. One use of the WSE retrievals will be to constrain model estimates of lake storage dynamics. Here, we compare predictions using the lake dynamics algorithm within the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) land surface scheme. The VIC lake algorithm includes representation of sub-grid topography, where the depth and area of seasonally-flooded areas are modeled as a function of topographic wetness index, basin area, and slope. The topography data used is from a new global digital elevation model, MERIT-DEM. We initially set up VIC at sites with varying permafrost conditions (i.e., no permafrost, discontinuous, continuous) in Saskatoon and Yellowknife, Canada, and Toolik Lake, Alaska. We constrained the uncalibrated model with the WSE at the time of the first ABoVE flight, and quantified the model's ability to predict WSE and ΔWSE during the time of the second flight. Finally, we evaluated the sensitivity of the VIC-lakes model and compared the three permafrost conditions. Our results quantify the sensitivity of surface water to permafrost state across the target sites. Furthermore, our evaluation of the lake modeling framework contributes to the modeling and mapping framework for lake and reservoir storage change evaluation globally as part of the SWOT mission, planned for launch in 2021.

  6. METHANE HYDRATE PRODUCTION FROM ALASKAN PERMAFROST

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Donn McGuire; Steve Runyon; Richard Sigal; Bill Liddell; Thomas Williams; George Moridis

    2005-02-01

    Natural-gas hydrates have been encountered beneath the permafrost and considered a nuisance by the oil and gas industry for years. Engineers working in Russia, Canada and the USA have documented numerous drilling problems, including kicks and uncontrolled gas releases, in arctic regions. Information has been generated in laboratory studies pertaining to the extent, volume, chemistry and phase behavior of gas hydrates. Scientists studying hydrate potential agree that the potential is great--on the North Slope of Alaska alone, it has been estimated at 590 TCF. However, little information has been obtained on physical samples taken from actual rock containing hydrates. This gas-hydrate project is in the final stages of a cost-shared partnership between Maurer Technology, Noble Corporation, Anadarko Petroleum, and the U.S. Department of Energy's Methane Hydrate R&D program. The purpose of the project is to build on previous and ongoing R&D in the area of onshore hydrate deposition to identify, quantify and predict production potential for hydrates located on the North Slope of Alaska. Hot Ice No. 1 was planned to test the Ugnu and West Sak sequences for gas hydrates and a concomitant free gas accumulation on Anadarko's 100% working interest acreage in section 30 of Township 9N, Range 8E of the Harrison Bay quadrangle of the North Slope of Alaska. The Ugnu and West Sak intervals are favorably positioned in the hydrate-stability zone over an area extending from Anadarko's acreage westward to the vicinity of the aforementioned gas-hydrate occurrences. This suggests that a large, north-to-south trending gas-hydrate accumulation may exist in that area. The presence of gas shows in the Ugnu and West Sak reservoirs in wells situated eastward and down dip of the Hot Ice location indicate that a free-gas accumulation may be trapped by gas hydrates. The Hot Ice No. 1 well was designed to core from the surface to the base of the West Sak interval using the

  7. Content and distribution of trace metals in pristine permafrost environments of Northeastern Siberia, Russia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antcibor, I.; Eschenbach, A.; Kutzbach, L.; Bolshiyanov, D.; Pfeiffer, E.-M.

    2012-04-01

    Arctic regions are one of the most sensitive areas with respect to climatic changes and human impacts. Research is required to discover how the function of permafrost soils as a buffering system for metal pollutants could change in response to the predicted changes. The goal of this work is to determine the background levels of trace metals in the pristine arctic ecosystems of the Lena River Delta in Northeastern Siberia and to evaluate the possible effect of human impacts on this arctic region. The Lena River Delta represents areas with different dominating geomorphologic processes that can generally be divided between accumulation and erosion sites. Frequent changes of the river water level create different periods of sedimentation and result in the formation of stratified soils and sediment layers which are dominated either by mineral substrates with allochthonous organic matter or pure autochthonous peat. The deposited sediments that have formed the delta islands are mostly composed of sand fractions; therefore the buffering effects of clay materials can be neglected. Samoylov Island is representative of the south-central and eastern modern delta surfaces of the Lena River Delta and is selected as a pilot study site. We determined total element contents of Fe, Mn, Zn, Cd, Ni, Cu, As, Pb, Co and Hg in soil horizons from different polygonal elevated rims, polygonal depressed centers and the middle floodplain. High gravimetric concentrations (related to dry mass of soil material) of Mn and Fe are found within all soil profiles and vary from 0.14 to 1.39 g kg-1 and from 10.7 to 41.2 g kg-1, respectively. While the trace element concentrations do not exceed typical crustal abundances, the maximum values of most of the metals are observed within the soil profile situated at the middle floodplain. This finding suggests that apart from the parent material the second potential source of trace metals is due to allochthonous substance input during annual flooding of the

  8. The Arctic Cooperative Data and Information System: Data Management Support for the NSF Arctic Research Program (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, J.; Serreze, M. C.; Middleton, D.; Ramamurthy, M. K.; Yarmey, L.

    2013-12-01

    The NSF funds the Advanced Cooperative Arctic Data and Information System (ACADIS), url: (http://www.aoncadis.org/). It serves the growing and increasingly diverse data management needs of NSF's arctic research community. The ACADIS investigator team combines experienced data managers, curators and software engineers from the NSIDC, UCAR and NCAR. ACADIS fosters scientific synthesis and discovery by providing a secure long-term data archive to NSF investigators. The system provides discovery and access to arctic related data from this and other archives. This paper updates the technical components of ACADIS, the implementation of best practices, the value of ACADIS to the community and the major challenges facing this archive for the future in handling the diverse data coming from NSF Arctic investigators. ACADIS provides sustainable data management, data stewardship services and leadership for the NSF Arctic research community through open data sharing, adherence to best practices and standards, capitalizing on appropriate evolving technologies, community support and engagement. ACADIS leverages other pertinent projects, capitalizing on appropriate emerging technologies and participating in emerging cyberinfrastructure initiatives. The key elements of ACADIS user services to the NSF Arctic community include: data and metadata upload; support for datasets with special requirements; metadata and documentation generation; interoperability and initiatives with other archives; and science support to investigators and the community. Providing a self-service data publishing platform requiring minimal curation oversight while maintaining rich metadata for discovery, access and preservation is challenging. Implementing metadata standards are a first step towards consistent content. The ACADIS Gateway and ADE offer users choices for data discovery and access with the clear objective of increasing discovery and use of all Arctic data especially for analysis activities

  9. Derivation and analysis of a high-resolution estimate of global permafrost zonation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Gruber

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Permafrost underlies much of Earth's surface and interacts with climate, eco-systems and human systems. It is a complex phenomenon controlled by climate and (sub- surface properties and reacts to change with variable delay. Heterogeneity and sparse data challenge the modeling of its spatial distribution. Currently, there is no data set to adequately inform global studies of permafrost. The available data set for the Northern Hemisphere is frequently used for model evaluation, but its quality and consistency are difficult to assess. Here, a global model of permafrost extent and dataset of permafrost zonation are presented and discussed, extending earlier studies by including the Southern Hemisphere, by consistent data and methods, by attention to uncertainty and scaling. Established relationships between air temperature and the occurrence of permafrost are re-formulated into a model that is parametrized using published estimates. It is run with a high-resolution (<1 km global elevation data and air temperatures based on the NCAR-NCEP reanalysis and CRU TS 2.0. The resulting data provide more spatial detail and a consistent extrapolation to remote regions, while aggregated values resemble previous studies. The estimated uncertainties affect regional patterns and aggregate number, and provide interesting insight. The permafrost area, i.e. the actual surface area underlain by permafrost, north of 60° S is estimated to be 13–18 × 106 km2 or 9–14 % of the exposed land surface. The global permafrost area including Antarctic and sub-sea permafrost is estimated to be 16–21 × 106 km2. The global permafrost region, i.e. the exposed land surface below which some permafrost can be expected, is estimated to be 22 ± 3 × 106 km2. A large proportion of this exhibits considerable topography and spatially-discontinuous permafrost, underscoring the importance of attention to scaling issues

  10. Long-Term Drainage Reduces CO2 Uptake and CH4 Emissions in a Siberian Permafrost Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kittler, Fanny; Heimann, Martin; Kolle, Olaf; Zimov, Nikita; Zimov, Sergei; Göckede, Mathias

    2017-12-01

    Permafrost landscapes in northern high latitudes with their massive organic carbon stocks are an important, poorly known, component of the global carbon cycle. However, in light of future Arctic warming, the sustainability of these carbon pools is uncertain. To a large part, this is due to a limited understanding of the carbon cycle processes because of sparse observations in Arctic permafrost ecosystems. Here we present an eddy covariance data set covering more than 3 years of continuous CO2 and CH4 flux observations within a moist tussock tundra ecosystem near Chersky in north-eastern Siberia. Through parallel observations of a disturbed (drained) area and a control area nearby, we aim to evaluate the long-term effects of a persistently lowered water table on the net vertical carbon exchange budgets and the dominating biogeochemical mechanisms. Persistently drier soils trigger systematic shifts in the tundra ecosystem carbon cycle patterns. Both, uptake rates of CO2 and emissions of CH4 decreased. Year-round measurements emphasize the importance of the non-growing season—in particular the "zero-curtain" period in the fall—to the annual budget. Approximately 60% of the CO2 uptake in the growing season is lost during the cold seasons, while CH4 emissions during the non-growing season account for 30% of the annual budget. Year-to-year variability in temperature conditions during the late growing season was identified as the primary control of the interannual variability observed in the CO2 and CH4 fluxes.

  11. Implications of a lightning-rich tundra biome for permafrost carbon and vegetation dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Y.; Veraverbeke, S.; Randerson, J. T.

    2017-12-01

    Lightning is a major ignition source of wildfires in circumpolar boreal forests but rarely occurs in arctic tundra. While theoretical and empirical work suggests that climate change will increase lightning strikes in temperate regions, much less is known about future changes in lightning across terrestrial ecosystems at high northern latitudes. Here we analyzed the spatial and temporal patterns of lightning flash rate (FR) from the satellite observations and surface detection networks. Regression models between the observed FR from the Optical Transient Detector on the MicroLab-1 satellite (later renamed OV-1) and meteorological parameters, including surface temperature (T), convective available potential energy (CAPE), and convective precipitation (CP) from ECMWF (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts) ERA-interim reanalysis, were established and assessed. We found that FR had significant linear correlations with CAPE and CP, and a strong non-linear relationship with T. The statistical model based on T and CP can reproduce most of the spatial and temporal variability in FR in the circumpolar region. By using the regression model and meteorological predictions from 24 earth system models in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5), we estimated the spatial distribution of FR by the end of the 21st century. Due to increases in surface temperature and convection, modeled FR shows substantial increase in northern biomes, including a 338% change in arctic tundra and a 185% change in regions with permafrost soil carbon reservoirs. These changes highlight a new mechanism by which permafrost carbon is vulnerable to the sustained impacts of climate warming. Increased fire in a warmer and lightning-rich future near the treeline has the potential to accelerate the northward migration of trees, which may further enhance warming and the abundance of lightning strikes.

  12. Reduced arctic tundra productivity linked with landform and climate change interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lara, Mark J.; Nitze, Ingmar; Grosse, Guido; Martin, Philip; McGuire, A. David

    2018-01-01

    Arctic tundra ecosystems have experienced unprecedented change associated with climate warming over recent decades. Across the Pan-Arctic, vegetation productivity and surface greenness have trended positively over the period of satellite observation. However, since 2011 these trends have slowed considerably, showing signs of browning in many regions. It is unclear what factors are driving this change and which regions/landforms will be most sensitive to future browning. Here we provide evidence linking decadal patterns in arctic greening and browning with regional climate change and local permafrost-driven landscape heterogeneity. We analyzed the spatial variability of decadal-scale trends in surface greenness across the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska (~60,000 km²) using the Landsat archive (1999–2014), in combination with novel 30 m classifications of polygonal tundra and regional watersheds, finding landscape heterogeneity and regional climate change to be the most important factors controlling historical greenness trends. Browning was linked to increased temperature and precipitation, with the exception of young landforms (developed following lake drainage), which will likely continue to green. Spatiotemporal model forecasting suggests carbon uptake potential to be reduced in response to warmer and/or wetter climatic conditions, potentially increasing the net loss of carbon to the atmosphere, at a greater degree than previously expected.

  13. Carbon and nitrogen pools in thermokarst-affected permafrost landscapes in Arctic Siberia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuchs, Matthias; Grosse, Guido; Strauss, Jens; Günther, Frank; Grigoriev, Mikhail; Maximov, Georgy M.; Hugelius, Gustaf

    2018-02-01

    Ice-rich yedoma-dominated landscapes store considerable amounts of organic carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) and are vulnerable to degradation under climate warming. We investigate the C and N pools in two thermokarst-affected yedoma landscapes - on Sobo-Sise Island and on Bykovsky Peninsula in the north of eastern Siberia. Soil cores up to 3 m depth were collected along geomorphic gradients and analysed for organic C and N contents. A high vertical sampling density in the profiles allowed the calculation of C and N stocks for short soil column intervals and enhanced understanding of within-core parameter variability. Profile-level C and N stocks were scaled to the landscape level based on landform classifications from 5 m resolution, multispectral RapidEye satellite imagery. Mean landscape C and N storage in the first metre of soil for Sobo-Sise Island is estimated to be 20.2 kg C m-2 and 1.8 kg N m-2 and for Bykovsky Peninsula 25.9 kg C m-2 and 2.2 kg N m-2. Radiocarbon dating demonstrates the Holocene age of thermokarst basin deposits but also suggests the presence of thick Holocene-age cover layers which can reach up to 2 m on top of intact yedoma landforms. Reconstructed sedimentation rates of 0.10-0.57 mm yr-1 suggest sustained mineral soil accumulation across all investigated landforms. Both yedoma and thermokarst landforms are characterized by limited accumulation of organic soil layers (peat). We further estimate that an active layer deepening of about 100 cm will increase organic C availability in a seasonally thawed state in the two study areas by ˜ 5.8 Tg (13.2 kg C m-2). Our study demonstrates the importance of increasing the number of C and N storage inventories in ice-rich yedoma and thermokarst environments in order to account for high variability of permafrost and thermokarst environments in pan-permafrost soil C and N pool estimates.

  14. Forecasting wildlife response to rapid warming in the Alaskan Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Hemert, Caroline R.; Flint, Paul L.; Udevitz, Mark S.; Koch, Joshua C.; Atwood, Todd C.; Oakley, Karen L.; Pearce, John M.

    2015-01-01

    Arctic wildlife species face a dynamic and increasingly novel environment because of climate warming and the associated increase in human activity. Both marine and terrestrial environments are undergoing rapid environmental shifts, including loss of sea ice, permafrost degradation, and altered biogeochemical fluxes. Forecasting wildlife responses to climate change can facilitate proactive decisions that balance stewardship with resource development. In this article, we discuss the primary and secondary responses to physical climate-related drivers in the Arctic, associated wildlife responses, and additional sources of complexity in forecasting wildlife population outcomes. Although the effects of warming on wildlife populations are becoming increasingly well documented in the scientific literature, clear mechanistic links are often difficult to establish. An integrated science approach and robust modeling tools are necessary to make predictions and determine resiliency to change. We provide a conceptual framework and introduce examples relevant for developing wildlife forecasts useful to management decisions.

  15. Exploratory Hydrocarbon Drilling Impacts to Arctic Lake Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thienpont, Joshua R.; Kokelj, Steven V.; Korosi, Jennifer B.; Cheng, Elisa S.; Desjardins, Cyndy; Kimpe, Linda E.; Blais, Jules M.; Pisaric, Michael FJ.; Smol, John P.

    2013-01-01

    Recent attention regarding the impacts of oil and gas development and exploitation has focused on the unintentional release of hydrocarbons into the environment, whilst the potential negative effects of other possible avenues of environmental contamination are less well documented. In the hydrocarbon-rich and ecologically sensitive Mackenzie Delta region (NT, Canada), saline wastes associated with hydrocarbon exploration have typically been disposed of in drilling sumps (i.e., large pits excavated into the permafrost) that were believed to be a permanent containment solution. However, failure of permafrost as a waste containment medium may cause impacts to lakes in this sensitive environment. Here, we examine the effects of degrading drilling sumps on water quality by combining paleolimnological approaches with the analysis of an extensive present-day water chemistry dataset. This dataset includes lakes believed to have been impacted by saline drilling fluids leaching from drilling sumps, lakes with no visible disturbances, and lakes impacted by significant, naturally occurring permafrost thaw in the form of retrogressive thaw slumps. We show that lakes impacted by compromised drilling sumps have significantly elevated lakewater conductivity levels compared to control sites. Chloride levels are particularly elevated in sump-impacted lakes relative to all other lakes included in the survey. Paleolimnological analyses showed that invertebrate assemblages appear to have responded to the leaching of drilling wastes by a discernible increase in a taxon known to be tolerant of elevated conductivity coincident with the timing of sump construction. This suggests construction and abandonment techniques at, or soon after, sump establishment may result in impacts to downstream aquatic ecosystems. With hydrocarbon development in the north predicted to expand in the coming decades, the use of sumps must be examined in light of the threat of accelerated permafrost thaw, and the

  16. CARVE Measurements of Atmospheric Methane Concentrations and Emissions in Arctic and Boreal Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, C. E.; Miller, J. B.; Chang, R. Y.; Sweeney, C.; Karion, A.; Wofsy, S. C.; Henderson, J.; Eluszkiewicz, J.; Mountain, M.; Oechel, W. C.

    2013-12-01

    The Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment (CARVE) is a NASA Earth Ventures (EV-1) investigation designed to quantify correlations between atmospheric and surface state variables for the Alaskan terrestrial ecosystems through intensive seasonal aircraft campaigns, ground-based observations, and analysis sustained over a 5-year mission. CARVE bridges critical gaps in our knowledge and understanding of Arctic ecosystems, linkages between the Arctic hydrologic and terrestrial carbon cycles, and the feedbacks from fires and thawing permafrost. We present CARVE airborne measurements of spatial and temporal patterns in atmospheric CH4 concentrations and estimated surface-atmosphere emissions for Arctic and Boreal Alaska. Continuous in situ CH4, CO2 and CO data are supplemented by periodic whole air flask samples from which 13CH4 and non-methane hydrocarbons are used to assess the relative contributions of wetlands, fossil fuel combustion, and oil and gas production to the observed CH4 signals. The CARVE project has also initiated monthly 14CH4 sampling at Barrow, AK (BRW) and the CARVE Tower in Fox, AK (CRV) to evaluate seasonal changes in the fraction of old carbon being mobilized via methanogenesis.

  17. Strong atmospheric chemistry feedback to climate warming from Arctic methane emissions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isaksen, Ivar S.A.; Gauss, Michael; Myhre, Gunnar; Walter Anthony, Katey M.; Ruppel, Carolyn

    2011-01-01

    The magnitude and feedbacks of future methane release from the Arctic region are unknown. Despite limited documentation of potential future releases associated with thawing permafrost and degassing methane hydrates, the large potential for future methane releases calls for improved understanding of the interaction of a changing climate with processes in the Arctic and chemical feedbacks in the atmosphere. Here we apply a “state of the art” atmospheric chemistry transport model to show that large emissions of CH4 would likely have an unexpectedly large impact on the chemical composition of the atmosphere and on radiative forcing (RF). The indirect contribution to RF of additional methane emission is particularly important. It is shown that if global methane emissions were to increase by factors of 2.5 and 5.2 above current emissions, the indirect contributions to RF would be about 250% and 400%, respectively, of the RF that can be attributed to directly emitted methane alone. Assuming several hypothetical scenarios of CH4 release associated with permafrost thaw, shallow marine hydrate degassing, and submarine landslides, we find a strong positive feedback on RF through atmospheric chemistry. In particular, the impact of CH4 is enhanced through increase of its lifetime, and of atmospheric abundances of ozone, stratospheric water vapor, and CO2 as a result of atmospheric chemical processes. Despite uncertainties in emission scenarios, our results provide a better understanding of the feedbacks in the atmospheric chemistry that would amplify climate warming.

  18. Permafrost at Lupin. Interpretation of SAMPO electromagnetic soundings at Lupin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Paananen, M.; Ruskeeniemi, T

    2003-07-01

    The Permafrost Project at the Lupin Mine in northern Canada is an international project, aiming to improve the understanding of behaviour and processes of crystalline bedrock under permafrost conditions. As a part of this project, the Geological Survey of Finland carried out electromagnetic SAMPO soundings in the vicinity of the mine between 11th and 23rd of June 2002 in order to give additional information on the permafrost depth, the location and electrical characteristics of fracture zones and possible talik structures. The total number of sounding points was 214, forming 17 separate survey lines. Used coil separation was 100 - 800 m. According to the temperature data from Lupin Mine, the base of the permafrost is at the depth of 540 m. However, there is no information about the depth distribution outside the mine. The starting point of this survey was the possible existence of a saline water horizon below the permafrost, resulting from repeated segregation and enrichment of salts in front of advancing freezing front. The main result of the survey was a deep conductor, observed at numerous sounding points irrespectively of the measurement configuration. These sounding anomalies form a subhorizontal layer at the depths between 400 and 700 m, in contrast to the vertical orientation of the geological units in the area. According to the results, the conductor gets weaker or deeper close to the Lake Contwoyto and seems to be absent below the lake. There also seems to be a lithological control, since the conducting layer is not observed in granodiorite. It is assumed that the conducting layer represents saline or brackish waters at the base of the permafrost; their calculated TDS-values are in a realistic range for such waters (5000-30 000 mg/l). The subvertical fracture zone VI, previously interpreted from the seismic survey, could be observed as a slight decrease in resistivity in 3 survey profiles using a coil separation of 100 m. (orig.)

  19. Permafrost at Lupin. Interpretation of SAMPO electromagnetic soundings at Lupin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Paananen, M.; Ruskeeniemi, T.

    2003-01-01

    The Permafrost Project at the Lupin Mine in northern Canada is an international project, aiming to improve the understanding of behaviour and processes of crystalline bedrock under permafrost conditions. As a part of this project, the Geological Survey of Finland carried out electromagnetic SAMPO soundings in the vicinity of the mine between 11th and 23rd of June 2002 in order to give additional information on the permafrost depth, the location and electrical characteristics of fracture zones and possible talik structures. The total number of sounding points was 214, forming 17 separate survey lines. Used coil separation was 100 - 800 m. According to the temperature data from Lupin Mine, the base of the permafrost is at the depth of 540 m. However, there is no information about the depth distribution outside the mine. The starting point of this survey was the possible existence of a saline water horizon below the permafrost, resulting from repeated segregation and enrichment of salts in front of advancing freezing front. The main result of the survey was a deep conductor, observed at numerous sounding points irrespectively of the measurement configuration. These sounding anomalies form a subhorizontal layer at the depths between 400 and 700 m, in contrast to the vertical orientation of the geological units in the area. According to the results, the conductor gets weaker or deeper close to the Lake Contwoyto and seems to be absent below the lake. There also seems to be a lithological control, since the conducting layer is not observed in granodiorite. It is assumed that the conducting layer represents saline or brackish waters at the base of the permafrost; their calculated TDS-values are in a realistic range for such waters (5000-30 000 mg/l). The subvertical fracture zone VI, previously interpreted from the seismic survey, could be observed as a slight decrease in resistivity in 3 survey profiles using a coil separation of 100 m. (orig.)

  20. Permafrost and organic layer interactions over a climate gradient in a discontinuous permafrost zone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johnson, Kristofer D; Harden, Jennifer W; David McGuire, A; Clark, Mark; Yuan, Fengming; Finley, Andrew O

    2013-01-01

    Permafrost is tightly coupled to the organic soil layer, an interaction that mediates permafrost degradation in response to regional warming. We analyzed changes in permafrost occurrence and organic layer thickness (OLT) using more than 3000 soil pedons across a mean annual temperature (MAT) gradient. Cause and effect relationships between permafrost probability (PF), OLT, and other topographic factors were investigated using structural equation modeling in a multi-group analysis. Groups were defined by slope, soil texture type, and shallow (<28 cm) versus deep organic (≥28 cm) layers. The probability of observing permafrost sharply increased by 0.32 for every 10-cm OLT increase in shallow OLT soils (OLTs) due to an insulation effect, but PF decreased in deep OLT soils (OLTd) by 0.06 for every 10-cm increase. Across the MAT gradient, PF in sandy soils varied little, but PF in loamy and silty soils decreased substantially from cooler to warmer temperatures. The change in OLT was more heterogeneous across soil texture types—in some there was no change while in others OLTs soils thinned and/or OLTd soils thickened at warmer locations. Furthermore, when soil organic carbon was estimated using a relationship with thickness, the average increase in carbon in OLTd soils was almost four times greater compared to the average decrease in carbon in OLTs soils across all soil types. If soils follow a trajectory of warming that mimics the spatial gradients found today, then heterogeneities of permafrost degradation and organic layer thinning and thickening should be considered in the regional carbon balance. (letter)

  1. Arctic Ice Management: an integrated approach to climate engineering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desch, S. J.; Hartnett, H. E.; Groppi, C. E.; Romaniello, S. J.

    2017-12-01

    The warming climate is having the most rapid and pronounced effects in the high Arctic. The loss of Arctic sea ice is not only changing the physical oceanography of the Arctic Ocean and its coastlines; it is also promoting new conversations about the dangers and benefits for trade, transportation, and industry in the Arctic. The rate of decrease of summer sea ice in the Arctic is currently -300 km3 yr-1, a rate that will lead to complete loss of end-summer sea ice as soon as 2030. Preventing the strong positive feedbacks and increased warming due to sea ice albedo loss must be an important component of climate mitigation strategies. Here, we explore a direct engineering approach we call Arctic Ice Management (AIM) to reduce the loss of Arctic sea ice. We predict that pumping seawater onto the ice surface during the Arctic winter using wind-powered pumps can thicken sea ice by up to 1 m per year, reversing the current loss rates and prolonging the time until the Arctic Ocean is ice-free. Thickening sea ice would not change CO2 levels, which are the underlying cause of ice loss, but it would prevent some of the strongest feedbacks and would buy time to develop the tools and governance systems necessary to achieve carbon-neutrality. We advocate exploration of AIM as a mitigation strategy employed in parallel with CO2 reduction efforts. The opportunity and risk profiles of AIM differ from other geoengineering proposals. While similar in principle to solar radiation management, AIM may present fewer large-scale environmental risks. AIM is separate from greenhouse gas emission reduction or sequestration, but might help prevent accelerated release of methane from thawing permafrost. Further, AIM might be usefully employed at regional and local scales to preserve Arctic ecosystems and possibly reduce the effects of ice-loss induced coastal erosion. Through presentation of the AIM concept, we hope to spark new conversations between scientists, stakeholders, and decision

  2. A pan-Arctic synthesis of CH4 and CO2 production from anoxic soil incubations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Treat, C.C.; Natali, Susan M.; Ernakovich, Jessica; Iverson, Colleen M.; Lupasco, Massimo; McGuire, A. David; Norby, Richard J.; Roy Chowdhury, Taniya; Richter, Andreas; Šantrůčková, Hana; Schädel, C.; Schuur, Edward A.G.; Sloan, Victoria L.; Turetsky, Merritt R.; Waldrop, Mark P.

    2015-01-01

    Permafrost thaw can alter the soil environment through changes in soil moisture, frequently resulting in soil saturation, a shift to anaerobic decomposition, and changes in the plant community. These changes, along with thawing of previously frozen organic material, can alter the form and magnitude of greenhouse gas production from permafrost ecosystems. We synthesized existing methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) production measurements from anaerobic incubations of boreal and tundra soils from the geographic permafrost region to evaluate large-scale controls of anaerobic CO2 and CH4 production and compare the relative importance of landscape-level factors (e.g., vegetation type and landscape position), soil properties (e.g., pH, depth, and soil type), and soil environmental conditions (e.g., temperature and relative water table position). We found fivefold higher maximum CH4 production per gram soil carbon from organic soils than mineral soils. Maximum CH4 production from soils in the active layer (ground that thaws and refreezes annually) was nearly four times that of permafrost per gram soil carbon, and CH4 production per gram soil carbon was two times greater from sites without permafrost than sites with permafrost. Maximum CH4 and median anaerobic CO2 production decreased with depth, while CO2:CH4 production increased with depth. Maximum CH4 production was highest in soils with herbaceous vegetation and soils that were either consistently or periodically inundated. This synthesis identifies the need to consider biome, landscape position, and vascular/moss vegetation types when modeling CH4 production in permafrost ecosystems and suggests the need for longer-term anaerobic incubations to fully capture CH4 dynamics. Our results demonstrate that as climate warms in arctic and boreal regions, rates of anaerobic CO2 and CH4 production will increase, not only as a result of increased temperature, but also from shifts in vegetation and increased

  3. The GTN-P Data Management System: A central database for permafrost monitoring parameters of the Global Terrestrial Network for Permafrost (GTN-P) and beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lanckman, Jean-Pierre; Elger, Kirsten; Karlsson, Ævar Karl; Johannsson, Halldór; Lantuit, Hugues

    2013-04-01

    Permafrost is a direct indicator of climate change and has been identified as Essential Climate Variable (ECV) by the global observing community. The monitoring of permafrost temperatures, active-layer thicknesses and other parameters has been performed for several decades already, but it was brought together within the Global Terrestrial Network for Permafrost (GTN-P) in the 1990's only, including the development of measurement protocols to provide standardized data. GTN-P is the primary international observing network for permafrost sponsored by the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) and the Global Terrestrial Observing System (GTOS), and managed by the International Permafrost Association (IPA). All GTN-P data was outfitted with an "open data policy" with free data access via the World Wide Web. The existing data, however, is far from being homogeneous: it is not yet optimized for databases, there is no framework for data reporting or archival and data documentation is incomplete. As a result, and despite the utmost relevance of permafrost in the Earth's climate system, the data has not been used by as many researchers as intended by the initiators of the programs. While the monitoring of many other ECVs has been tackled by organized international networks (e.g. FLUXNET), there is still no central database for all permafrost-related parameters. The European Union project PAGE21 created opportunities to develop this central database for permafrost monitoring parameters of GTN-P during the duration of the project and beyond. The database aims to be the one location where the researcher can find data, metadata, and information of all relevant parameters for a specific site. Each component of the Data Management System (DMS), including parameters, data levels and metadata formats were developed in cooperation with the GTN-P and the IPA. The general framework of the GTN-P DMS is based on an object oriented model (OOM), open for as many parameters as possible, and

  4. Multi-decadal degradation and persistence of permafrost in the Alaska Highway corridor, northwest Canada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    James, Megan; Lewkowicz, Antoni G; Smith, Sharon L; Miceli, Christina M

    2013-01-01

    Changes in permafrost distribution in the southern discontinuous zone were evaluated by repeating a 1964 survey through part of the Alaska Highway corridor (56° N–61° N) in northwest Canada. A total of 55 sites from the original survey in northern British Columbia and southern Yukon were located using archival maps and photographs. Probing for frozen ground, manual excavations, air and ground temperature monitoring, borehole drilling and geophysical techniques were used to gather information on present-day permafrost and climatic conditions. Mean annual air temperatures have increased by 1.5–2.0 ° C since the mid-1970s and significant degradation of permafrost has occurred. Almost half of the permafrost sites along the entire transect which exhibited permafrost in 1964 do so no longer. This change is especially evident in the south where two-thirds of the formerly permafrost sites have thawed and the limit of permafrost appears to have shifted northward. The permafrost that persists is patchy, generally less than 15 m thick, has mean annual surface temperatures >0 ° C, mean ground temperatures between −0.5 and 0 ° C, is in peat or beneath a thick organic mat, and appears to have a thicker active layer than in 1964. Its persistence may relate to the latent heat requirements of thawing permafrost or to the large thermal offset of organic soils. The study demonstrates that degradation of permafrost has occurred in the margins of its distribution in the last few decades, a trend that is expected to continue as the climate warms. (letter)

  5. Determining the terrain characteristics related to the surface expression of subsurface water pressurization in permafrost landscapes using susceptibility modelling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. E. Holloway

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Warming of the Arctic in recent years has led to changes in the active layer and uppermost permafrost. In particular, thick active layer formation results in more frequent thaw of the ice-rich transient layer. This addition of moisture, as well as infiltration from late season precipitation, results in high pore-water pressures (PWPs at the base of the active layer and can potentially result in landscape degradation. To predict areas that have the potential for subsurface pressurization, we use susceptibility maps generated using a generalized additive model (GAM. As model response variables, we used active layer detachments (ALDs and mud ejections (MEs, both formed by high PWP conditions at the Cape Bounty Arctic Watershed Observatory, Melville Island, Canada. As explanatory variables, we used the terrain characteristics elevation, slope, distance to water, topographic position index (TPI, potential incoming solar radiation (PISR, distance to water, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI; ME model only, geology, and topographic wetness index (TWI. ALDs and MEs were accurately modelled in terms of susceptibility to disturbance across the study area. The susceptibility models demonstrate that ALDs are most probable on hill slopes with gradual to steep slopes and relatively low PISR, whereas MEs are associated with higher elevation areas, lower slope angles, and areas relatively far from water. Based on these results, this method identifies areas that may be sensitive to high PWPs and helps improve our understanding of geomorphic sensitivity to permafrost degradation.

  6. Advanced Ecosystem Mapping Techniques for Large Arctic Study Domains Using Calibrated High-Resolution Imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macander, M. J.; Frost, G. V., Jr.

    2015-12-01

    Regional-scale mapping of vegetation and other ecosystem properties has traditionally relied on medium-resolution remote sensing such as Landsat (30 m) and MODIS (250 m). Yet, the burgeoning availability of high-resolution (environments has not been previously evaluated. Image segmentation, or object-based image analysis, automatically partitions high-resolution imagery into homogeneous image regions that can then be analyzed based on spectral, textural, and contextual information. We applied eCognition software to delineate waterbodies and vegetation classes, in combination with other techniques. Texture metrics were evaluated to determine the feasibility of using high-resolution imagery to algorithmically characterize periglacial surface forms (e.g., ice-wedge polygons), which are an important physical characteristic of permafrost-dominated regions but which cannot be distinguished by medium-resolution remote sensing. These advanced mapping techniques provide products which can provide essential information supporting a broad range of ecosystem science and land-use planning applications in northern Alaska and elsewhere in the circumpolar Arctic.

  7. Landscape controls and vertical variability of soil organic carbon storage in permafrost-affected soils of the Lena River Delta

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Siewert, Matthias Benjamin; Hugelius, Gustaf; Heim, Birgit

    2016-01-01

    To project the future development of the soil organic carbon (SOC) storage in permafrost environments, the spatial and vertical distribution of key soil properties and their landscape controls needs to be understood. This article reports findings from the Arctic Lena River Delta where we sampled 50...... in the permafrost. The major geomorphological units of a subregion of the Lena River Delta were mapped with a land form classification using a data-fusion approach of optical satellite imagery and digital elevation data to upscale SOC storage. Landscape mean SOC storage is estimated to 19.2 ± 2.0 kg C m− 2. Our...... results show that the geomorphological setting explains more soil variability than soil taxonomy classes or vegetation cover. The soils from the oldest, Pleistocene aged, unit of the delta store the highest amount of SOC per m2 followed by the Holocene river terrace. The Pleistocene terrace affected...

  8. A Compendium of Arctic Environmental Information

    Science.gov (United States)

    1986-03-01

    shoulders if it is facing you. Do not try a shot to the head unless you are absolutely sure of a hit . It is better to hit one of the two recommended areas...pp. 29-49, in Japanese. Sater, J. E. (ed.) (1969). The Arctic Basin. Arctic Inst. of North Am., Washington, D.C. Tabata , T., Y. Nohuguchi, and...T. Saito (1980). Observed Sea Ice Thickness in the Northern Okhotsk Sea. Low Temp. Sci. Ser. A, (Japan), n. 39, pp. 153-158. Tabata , Tadashi (1979

  9. Importance of lateral flux and its percolation depth on organic carbon export in Arctic tundra soil: Implications from a soil leaching experiment: Changes of OC in Arctic Soil Leachate

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Xiaowen [Department of Geological Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville Florida USA; Hutchings, Jack A. [Department of Geological Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville Florida USA; Bianchi, Thomas S. [Department of Geological Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville Florida USA; Liu, Yina [Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland Washington USA; Arellano, Ana R. [Department of Geological Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville Florida USA; Schuur, Edward A. G. [Center for Ecosystem Science and Society and Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff Arizona USA; Department of Biology, University of Florida, Gainesville Florida USA

    2017-04-01

    Temperature rise in the Arctic is causing deepening of active layers and resulting in the mobilization of deep permafrost dissolved organic matter (DOM). However, the mechanisms of DOM mobilization from Arctic soils, especially upper soil horizons which are drained most frequently through a year, are poorly understood. Here, we conducted a short-term leaching experiment on surface and deep organic active layer soils, from the Yukon River basin, to examine the effects of DOM transport on bulk and molecular characteristics. Our data showed a net release of DOM from surface soils equal to an average of 5% of soil carbon. Conversely, deep soils percolated with surface leachates retained up to 27% of bulk DOM-while releasing fluorescent components (up to 107%), indicating selective release of aromatic components (e.g. lignin, tannin), while retaining non-chromophoric components, as supported by spectrofluorometric and ultra high resolution mass spectroscopic techniques. Our findings highlight the importance of the lateral flux of DOM on ecosystem carbon balance as well as processing of DOM transport through organic active layer soils en route to rivers and streams. This work also suggests the potential role of leachate export as an important mechanism of C losses from Arctic soils, in comparison with the more traditional pathway from soil to atmosphere in a warming Arctic.

  10. Composition and fate of terrigenous organic matter along the Arctic land-ocean continuum in East Siberia: Insights from biomarkers and carbon isotopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tesi, Tommaso; Semiletov, Igor; Hugelius, Gustaf; Dudarev, Oleg; Kuhry, Peter; Gustafsson, Örjan

    2014-05-01

    Climate warming is predicted to translocate terrigenous organic carbon (TerrOC) to the Arctic Ocean and affect the marine biogeochemistry at high latitudes. The magnitude of this translocation is currently unknown, so is the climate response. The fate of the remobilized TerrOC across the Arctic shelves represents an unconstrained component of this feedback. The present study investigated the fate of permafrost carbon along the land-ocean continuum by characterizing the TerrOC composition in three different terrestrial carbon pools from Siberian permafrost (surface organic rich horizon, mineral soil active layer, and Ice Complex deposit) and marine sediments collected on the extensive East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS). High levels of lignin phenols and cutin acids were measured in all terrestrial samples analyzed indicating that these compounds can be used to trace the heterogeneous terrigenous material entering the Arctic Ocean. In ESAS sediments, comparison of these terrigenous biomarkers with other TerrOC proxies (bulk δ13C/Δ14C and HMW lipid biomarkers) highlighted contrasting across-shelf trends. These differences could indicate that TerrOC in the ESAS is made up of several pools that exhibit contrasting reactivity toward oxidation during the transport. In this reactive spectrum, lignin is the most reactive, decreasing up to three orders of magnitude from the inner- to the outer-shelf while the decrease of HMW wax lipid biomarkers was considerably less pronounced. Alternatively, degradation might be negligible while sediment sorting during the across-shelf transport could be the major physical forcing that redistributes different TerrOC pools characterized by different matrix-association.

  11. Differentiating TOC sources, preservation, and potential methane emissions in sub-Arctic lakes in Sweden

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, J. E.; Varner, R. K.; Wik, M.; Chanton, J.; Crill, P. M.

    2015-12-01

    Organic carbon-rich sediments from high latitude, shallow lakes and ponds are significant sources of methane throughout the Arctic. The origin and evolution of these lakes and ponds, however, is often not the same. Several lake types have been identified based on (1) hydrological conditions (melt-water fed, rain water fed, groundwater influenced, evaporation dominated, drained) (2) permafrost condition (thermokarst), and (3) time of origin (glacial or post-glacial). Given sufficient time (100's to 1000's years) many of these lake types may morph into others. In sub-Arctic Sweden, near Abisko and within the zone of discontinuous permafrost, the elongate glacial lake Torneträsk is fed by several streams draining the surrounding highlands. Lake Tornetrask is one of several NW-SE trending glacial lakes common in the landscape throughout northern and western Sweden. Between and alongside these glacial lakes, several small (ponds exist in low-lying mires. Sediment cores from the lakes in the Stordalen Mire are characterized by high total organic carbon (TOC) content (10-50 wt. %) in the uppermost ~50 cm and commonly underlain by glaciofluvial derived sediments with lower TOC (emissions from several of these lakes has also been measured and is driven by heat input. Coincident young ages of carbon in the sediments and in methane indicate in situ production. A published record from Lake Torneträsk shows sediments there contain significantly less TOC (1-2.5 wt. %) that is derived primarily from old, terrestrial organic carbon delivered via rivers to the lake. Although the larger and deeper glacial lakes currently occupy much of the landscape it is becoming clear that as the Arctic warms TOC preservation and methane production in the smaller lakes and ponds play a more significant, immediate role in emission of methane to the atmosphere. With continued warming in the Arctic, terrestrial TOC will be relinquished from highland watersheds to glacial lakes, but the methane

  12. Field Biogeochemical Measurements in Support of Remote Sensing Signatures and Characterization of Permafrost Terrain: Integrated Technologies for Delineating Permafrost and Ground-State Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-03-01

    Characterization of Permafrost Terrain Integrated Technologies for Delineating Permafrost and Ground-State Conditions En gi ne er R es ea rc h an d...Signatures and Characterization of Permafrost Terrain Integrated Technologies for Delineating Permafrost and Ground-State Conditions Robyn A. Barbato...Center-Directed Research Project, “Integrated Technologies for Delineating Permafrost and Ground-State Conditions” ERDC TR-15-1 ii Abstract This

  13. Environmental problems associated with Arctic development especially in Alaska

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    West, G. C.

    1976-10-01

    Exploration and extraction of mineral and petroleum resources in the arctic tundra and subarctic taiga regions of the world has potential impacts on the environment, wildlife, and human health and safety. Transportation, especially over low wet-tundra in summer, causes long-term changes in vegetation by reducing insulation to the underlying permafrost. Gravel laid directly on the tundra mat, makes the most suitable permanent road-bed. However this causes problems such as spreading of dust, impoundment of water, behavioral barricading of animals, alteration of river channels, and siltation of streams. Anadromous fishes are a major food alteration of stream channels or siltation of rivers can affect their movement and reproduction. Oil-spills in aquatic systems are harder to control and clean up than terrestrial ones, and recovery of ponds takes several years. The oil-rich outer-continental shelves in the Beaufort, Chukchi, and Bering Seas, now under exploration for oil, are especially sensitive. They contain unique populations of marine mammals and birds. Human habitation of the Arctic requires transport of food, fuel, and construction materials, and disposal of refuse and wastes which, due to the permafrost-underlain vegetative mat, is difficult. Heating by fossil fuels results in ice-fogs in winter and accumulation of atmospheric pollutants at ground-level during thermal inversions at all seasons. Perhaps the greatest impact is the increased intervention of the human population. Where native people were previously only sparsely settled or nomadic in the tundra, and on coasts where they congregated, now the economic need for resources has resulted in increased pressure overall which will result in fewer habitats for wildlife, destruction of wilderness, and increased access to humans for further exploration and recreation.

  14. The effects of climate changes on soil methane oxidation in a dry Arctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Imperio, Ludovica

    2014-05-01

    The effects of climate changes on soil methane oxidation in a dry Arctic tundra. Ludovica D'Imperio1, Anders Michelsen1, Christian J. Jørgensen1, Bo Elberling1 1Center for Permafrost (CENPERM), Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen, Denmark At Northern latitudes climatic changes are predicted to be most pronounced resulting in increasing active layer depth and changes in growing season length, vegetation cover and nutrient cycling. As a consequence of increased temperature, large stocks of carbon stored in the permafrost-affected soils could become available for microbial transformations and under anoxic conditions result in increasing methane production affecting net methane (CH4) budget. Arctic tundra soils also serves as an important sink of atmospheric CH4 by microbial oxidation under aerobic conditions. While several process studies have documented the mechanisms behind both production and emissions of CH4 in arctic ecosystems, an important knowledge gap exists with respect to the in situ dynamics of microbial-driven uptake of CH4 in arctic dry lands which may be enhanced as a consequence of global warming and thereby counterbalancing CH4 emissions from Arctic wetlands. In-situ methane measurements were made in a dry Arctic tundra in Disko Island, Western Greenland, during the summer 2013 to assess the role of seasonal and inter-annual variations in temperatures and snow cover. The experimental set-up included snow fences installed in 2012, allowed investigations of the emissions of GHGs from soil under increased winter snow deposition and ambient field conditions. The soil fluxes of CH4 and CO2 were measured using closed chambers in manipulated plots with increased summer temperatures and shrub removal with or without increased winter precipitation. At the control plots, the averaged seasonal CH4 oxidation rates ranged between -0.05 mg CH4 m-2 hr-1 (end of August) and -0.32 mg CH4 m-2 hr-1 (end of June). In the

  15. Soil surface organic layers in Arctic Alaska: spatial distribution, rates of formation, and microclimatic effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baughman, Carson; Mann, Daniel H.; Verbyla, David L.; Kunz, Michael L.

    2015-01-01

    Organic layers of living and dead vegetation cover the ground surface in many permafrost landscapes and play important roles in ecosystem processes. These soil surface organic layers (SSOLs) store large amounts of carbon and buffer the underlying permafrost and its contained carbon from changes in aboveground climate. Understanding the dynamics of SSOLs is a prerequisite for predicting how permafrost and carbon stocks will respond to warming climate. Here we ask three questions about SSOLs in a representative area of the Arctic Foothills region of northern Alaska: (1) What environmental factors control the thickness of SSOLs and the carbon they store? (2) How long do SSOLs take to develop on newly stabilized point bars? (3) How do SSOLs affect temperature in the underlying ground? Results show that SSOL thickness and distribution correlate with elevation, drainage area, vegetation productivity, and incoming solar radiation. A multiple regression model based on these correlations can simulate spatial distribution of SSOLs and estimate the organic carbon stored there. SSOLs develop within a few decades after a new, sandy, geomorphic surface stabilizes but require 500–700 years to reach steady state thickness. Mature SSOLs lower the growing season temperature and mean annual temperature of the underlying mineral soil by 8 and 3°C, respectively. We suggest that the proximate effects of warming climate on permafrost landscapes now covered by SSOLs will occur indirectly via climate's effects on the frequency, extent, and severity of disturbances like fires and landslides that disrupt the SSOLs and interfere with their protection of the underlying permafrost.

  16. Subsea ice-bearing permafrost on the U.S. Beaufort Margin: 1. Minimum seaward extent defined from multichannel seismic reflection data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brothers, Laura; Herman, Bruce M.; Hart, Patrick E.; Ruppel, Carolyn D.

    2016-01-01

    Subsea ice-bearing permafrost (IBPF) and associated gas hydrate in the Arctic have been subject to a warming climate and saline intrusion since the last transgression at the end of the Pleistocene. The consequent degradation of IBPF is potentially associated with significant degassing of dissociating gas hydrate deposits. Previous studies interpreted the distribution of subsea permafrost on the U.S. Beaufort continental shelf based on geographically sparse data sets and modeling of expected thermal history. The most cited work projects subsea permafrost to the shelf edge (∼100 m isobath). This study uses a compilation of stacking velocity analyses from ∼100,000 line-km of industry-collected multichannel seismic reflection data acquired over 57,000 km2 of the U.S. Beaufort shelf to delineate continuous subsea IBPF. Gridded average velocities of the uppermost 750 ms two-way travel time range from 1475 to 3110 m s−1. The monotonic, cross-shore pattern in velocity distribution suggests that the seaward extent of continuous IBPF is within 37 km of the modern shoreline at water depths < 25 m. These interpretations corroborate recent Beaufort seismic refraction studies and provide the best, margin-scale evidence that continuous subsea IBPF does not currently extend to the northern limits of the continental shelf.

  17. High colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) absorption in surface waters of the central-eastern Arctic Ocean: Implications for biogeochemistry and ocean color algorithms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonçalves-Araujo, Rafael; Rabe, Benjamin; Peeken, Ilka; Bracher, Astrid

    2018-01-01

    As consequences of global warming sea-ice shrinking, permafrost thawing and changes in fresh water and terrestrial material export have already been reported in the Arctic environment. These processes impact light penetration and primary production. To reach a better understanding of the current status and to provide accurate forecasts Arctic biogeochemical and physical parameters need to be extensively monitored. In this sense, bio-optical properties are useful to be measured due to the applicability of optical instrumentation to autonomous platforms, including satellites. This study characterizes the non-water absorbers and their coupling to hydrographic conditions in the poorly sampled surface waters of the central and eastern Arctic Ocean. Over the entire sampled area colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) dominates the light absorption in surface waters. The distribution of CDOM, phytoplankton and non-algal particles absorption reproduces the hydrographic variability in this region of the Arctic Ocean which suggests a subdivision into five major bio-optical provinces: Laptev Sea Shelf, Laptev Sea, Central Arctic/Transpolar Drift, Beaufort Gyre and Eurasian/Nansen Basin. Evaluating ocean color algorithms commonly applied in the Arctic Ocean shows that global and regionally tuned empirical algorithms provide poor chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) estimates. The semi-analytical algorithms Generalized Inherent Optical Property model (GIOP) and Garver-Siegel-Maritorena (GSM), on the other hand, provide robust estimates of Chl-a and absorption of colored matter. Applying GSM with modifications proposed for the western Arctic Ocean produced reliable information on the absorption by colored matter, and specifically by CDOM. These findings highlight that only semi-analytical ocean color algorithms are able to identify with low uncertainty the distribution of the different optical water constituents in these high CDOM absorbing waters. In addition, a clustering of the Arctic Ocean

  18. Modern thermokarst lake dynamics in the continuous permafrost zone, northern Seward Peninsula, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Benjamin M.; Grosse, G.; Arp, C.D.; Jones, M.C.; Walter, Anthony K.M.; Romanovsky, V.E.

    2011-01-01

    Quantifying changes in thermokarst lake extent is of importance for understanding the permafrost-related carbon budget, including the potential release of carbon via lake expansion or sequestration as peat in drained lake basins. We used high spatial resolution remotely sensed imagery from 1950/51, 1978, and 2006/07 to quantify changes in thermokarst lakes for a 700 km2 area on the northern Seward Peninsula, Alaska. The number of water bodies larger than 0.1 ha increased over the entire observation period (666 to 737 or +10.7%); however, total surface area decreased (5,066 ha to 4,312 ha or -14.9%). This pattern can largely be explained by the formation of remnant ponds following partial drainage of larger water bodies. Thus, analysis of large lakes (>40 ha) shows a decrease of 24% and 26% in number and area, respectively, differing from lake changes reported from other continuous permafrost regions. Thermokarst lake expansion rates did not change substantially between 1950/51 and 1978 (0.35 m/yr) and 1978 and 2006/07 (0.39 m/yr). However, most lakes that drained did expand as a result of surface permafrost degradation before lateral drainage. Drainage rates over the observation period were stable (2.2 to 2.3 per year). Thus, analysis of decadal-scale, high spatial resolution imagery has shown that lake drainage in this region is triggered by lateral breaching and not subterranean infiltration. Future research should be directed toward better understanding thermokarst lake dynamics at high spatial and temporal resolution as these systems have implications for landscape-scale hydrology and carbon budgets in thermokarst lake-rich regions in the circum-Arctic.

  19. Geochemistry and Flux of Terrigenous Dissolved Organic Matter to the Arctic Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spencer, R. G.; Mann, P. J.; Hernes, P. J.; Tank, S. E.; Striegl, R. G.; Dyda, R. Y.; Peterson, B. J.; McClelland, J. W.; Holmes, R. M.

    2011-12-01

    Rivers draining into the Arctic Ocean exhibit high concentrations of terrigenous dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and recent studies indicate that DOC export is changing due to climatic warming and alteration in permafrost condition. The fate of exported DOC in the Arctic Ocean is of key importance for understanding the regional carbon cycle and remains a point of discussion in the literature. As part of the Arctic Great Rivers Observatory (Arctic-GRO) project, samples were collected for DOC, chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM) and lignin phenols from the Ob', Yenisey, Lena, Kolyma, Mackenzie and Yukon rivers in 2009 - 2010. DOC and lignin concentrations were elevated during the spring freshet and measurements related to DOC composition indicated an increasing contribution from terrestrial vascular plant sources at this time of year (e.g. lignin carbon-normalized yield, CDOM spectral slope, SUVA254, humic-like fluorescence). CDOM absorption was found to correlate strongly with both DOC (r2=0.83) and lignin concentration (r2=0.92) across the major arctic rivers. Utilizing these relationships we modeled loads for DOC and lignin export from high-resolution CDOM measurements (daily across the freshet) to derive improved flux estimates, particularly from the dynamic spring discharge maxima period when the majority of DOC and lignin export occurs. The new load estimates for DOC and lignin are higher than previous evaluations, emphasizing that if these are more representative of current arctic riverine export, terrigenous DOC is transiting through the Arctic Ocean at a faster rate than previously thought. It is apparent that higher resolution sampling of arctic rivers is exceptionally valuable with respect to deriving accurate fluxes and we highlight the potential of CDOM in this role for future studies and the applicability of in-situ CDOM sensors.

  20. Subsurface flow pathway dynamics in the active layer of coupled permafrost-hydrogeological systems under seasonal and annual temperature variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frampton, Andrew

    2017-04-01

    There is a need for improved understanding of the mechanisms controlling subsurface solute transport in the active layer in order to better understand permafrost-hydrological-carbon feedbacks, in particular with regards to how dissolved carbon is transported in coupled surface and subsurface terrestrial arctic water systems under climate change. Studying solute transport in arctic systems is also relevant in the context of anthropogenic pollution which may increase due to increased activity in cold region environments. In this contribution subsurface solute transport subject to ground surface warming causing permafrost thaw and active layer change is studied using a physically based model of coupled cryotic and hydrogeological flow processes combined with a particle tracking method. Changes in subsurface water flows and solute transport travel times are analysed for different modelled geological configurations during a 100-year warming period. Results show that for all simulated cases, the minimum and mean travel times increase non-linearly with warming irrespective of geological configuration and heterogeneity structure. The timing of the start of increase in travel time depends on heterogeneity structure, combined with the rate of permafrost degradation that also depends on material thermal and hydrogeological properties. These travel time changes are shown to depend on combined warming effects of increase in pathway length due to deepening of the active layer, reduced transport velocities due to a shift from horizontal saturated groundwater flow near the surface to vertical water percolation deeper into the subsurface, and pathway length increase and temporary immobilization caused by cryosuction-induced seasonal freeze cycles. The impact these change mechanisms have on solute and dissolved substance transport is further analysed by integrating pathway analysis with a Lagrangian approach, incorporating considerations for both dissolved organic and inorganic

  1. Squaring the Arctic Circle: connecting Arctic knowledge with societal needs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkinson, J.

    2017-12-01

    Over the coming years the landscape of the Arctic will change substantially- environmentally, politically, and economically. Furthermore, Arctic change has the potential to significantly impact Arctic and non-Arctic countries alike. Thus, our science is in-demand by local communities, politicians, industry leaders and the public. During these times of transition it is essential that the links between science and society be strengthened further. Strong links between science and society is exactly what is needed for the development of better decision-making tools to support sustainable development, enable adaptation to climate change, provide the information necessary for improved management of assets and operations in the Arctic region, and and to inform scientific, economic, environmental and societal policies. By doing so tangible benefits will flow to Arctic societies, as well as for non-Arctic countries that will be significantly affected by climate change. Past experience has shown that the engagement with a broad range of stakeholders is not always an easy process. Consequently, we need to improve collaborative opportunities between scientists, indigenous/local communities, private sector, policy makers, NGOs, and other relevant stakeholders. The development of best practices in this area must build on the collective experiences of successful cross-sectorial programmes. Within this session we present some of the outreach work we have performed within the EU programme ICE-ARC, from community meetings in NW Greenland through to sessions at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change COP Conferences, industry round tables, and an Arctic side event at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

  2. Geophysical Investigations of Saline Permafrost at Ilulissat, Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ingeman-Nielsen, Thomas; Foged, Niels Nielsen; Butzbach, Rune

    2008-01-01

    The technical properties and general state of permafrost in Greenland is not well documented. A new coordinated investigation has been initiated, for ground temperature measurements and permafrost mapping in Greenlandic towns in sporadic, discontinuous and continuous permafrost zones. We present...... investigation results from one of the sites, located at Ilulissat, in an area of discontinuous saline permafrost. We have established ground temperature measurement stations and conducted a shallow geoelectrical study. Our results show that the sediments in the studied area mainly consist of very frost...... susceptible silty clays. The area has permafrost with a maximum active layer thickness between 0.9 and 1 m. In spite of low permafrost temperatures a considerable part of the pore water is unfrozen, due to high residual salt concentrations. Consequently, the unfrozen water content dominates the technical...

  3. Year-round simulated methane emissions from a permafrost ecosystem in Northeast Siberia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castro-Morales, Karel; Kleinen, Thomas; Kaiser, Sonja; Zaehle, Sönke; Kittler, Fanny; Kwon, Min Jung; Beer, Christian; Göckede, Mathias

    2018-05-01

    Wetlands of northern high latitudes are ecosystems highly vulnerable to climate change. Some degradation effects include soil hydrologic changes due to permafrost thaw, formation of deeper active layers, and rising topsoil temperatures that accelerate the degradation of permafrost carbon and increase in CO2 and CH4 emissions. In this work we present 2 years of modeled year-round CH4 emissions into the atmosphere from a Northeast Siberian region in the Russian Far East. We use a revisited version of the process-based JSBACH-methane model that includes four CH4 transport pathways: plant-mediated transport, ebullition and molecular diffusion in the presence or absence of snow. The gas is emitted through wetlands represented by grid cell inundated areas simulated with a TOPMODEL approach. The magnitude of the summertime modeled CH4 emissions is comparable to ground-based CH4 fluxes measured with the eddy covariance technique and flux chambers in the same area of study, whereas wintertime modeled values are underestimated by 1 order of magnitude. In an annual balance, the most important mechanism for transport of methane into the atmosphere is through plants (61 %). This is followed by ebullition ( ˜ 35 %), while summertime molecular diffusion is negligible (0.02 %) compared to the diffusion through the snow during winter ( ˜ 4 %). We investigate the relationship between temporal changes in the CH4 fluxes, soil temperature, and soil moisture content. Our results highlight the heterogeneity in CH4 emissions at landscape scale and suggest that further improvements to the representation of large-scale hydrological conditions in the model will facilitate a more process-oriented land surface scheme and better simulate CH4 emissions under climate change. This is especially necessary at regional scales in Arctic ecosystems influenced by permafrost thaw.

  4. Year-round simulated methane emissions from a permafrost ecosystem in Northeast Siberia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Castro-Morales

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Wetlands of northern high latitudes are ecosystems highly vulnerable to climate change. Some degradation effects include soil hydrologic changes due to permafrost thaw, formation of deeper active layers, and rising topsoil temperatures that accelerate the degradation of permafrost carbon and increase in CO2 and CH4 emissions. In this work we present 2 years of modeled year-round CH4 emissions into the atmosphere from a Northeast Siberian region in the Russian Far East. We use a revisited version of the process-based JSBACH-methane model that includes four CH4 transport pathways: plant-mediated transport, ebullition and molecular diffusion in the presence or absence of snow. The gas is emitted through wetlands represented by grid cell inundated areas simulated with a TOPMODEL approach. The magnitude of the summertime modeled CH4 emissions is comparable to ground-based CH4 fluxes measured with the eddy covariance technique and flux chambers in the same area of study, whereas wintertime modeled values are underestimated by 1 order of magnitude. In an annual balance, the most important mechanism for transport of methane into the atmosphere is through plants (61 %. This is followed by ebullition ( ∼  35 %, while summertime molecular diffusion is negligible (0.02 % compared to the diffusion through the snow during winter ( ∼  4 %. We investigate the relationship between temporal changes in the CH4 fluxes, soil temperature, and soil moisture content. Our results highlight the heterogeneity in CH4 emissions at landscape scale and suggest that further improvements to the representation of large-scale hydrological conditions in the model will facilitate a more process-oriented land surface scheme and better simulate CH4 emissions under climate change. This is especially necessary at regional scales in Arctic ecosystems influenced by permafrost thaw.

  5. Dissolved organic matter composition of winter flow in the Yukon River basin: Implications of permafrost thaw and increased groundwater discharge

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Donnell, Jonathan A.; Aiken, George R.; Walvoord, Michelle Ann; Butler, Kenna D.

    2012-01-01

    Groundwater discharge to rivers has increased in recent decades across the circumpolar region and has been attributed to thawing permafrost in arctic and subarctic watersheds. Permafrost-driven changes in groundwater discharge will alter the flux of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in rivers, yet little is known about the chemical composition and reactivity of dissolved organic matter (DOM) of groundwater in permafrost settings. Here, we characterize DOM composition of winter flow in 60 rivers and streams of the Yukon River basin to evaluate the biogeochemical consequences of enhanced groundwater discharge associated with permafrost thaw. DOC concentration of winter flow averaged 3.9 ± 0.5 mg C L−1, yet was highly variable across basins (ranging from 20 mg C L−1). In comparison to the summer-autumn period, DOM composition of winter flow had lower aromaticity (as indicated by specific ultraviolet absorbance at 254 nm, or SUVA254), lower hydrophobic acid content, and a higher proportion of hydrophilic compounds (HPI). Fluorescence spectroscopy and parallel factor analysis indicated enrichment of protein-like fluorophores in some, but not all, winter flow samples. The ratio of DOC to dissolved organic nitrogen, an indicator of DOM biodegradability, was positively correlated with SUVA254 and negatively correlated with the percentage of protein-like compounds. Using a simple two-pool mixing model, we evaluate possible changes in DOM during the summer-autumn period across a range of conditions reflecting possible increases in groundwater discharge. Across three watersheds, we consistently observed decreases in DOC concentration and SUVA254 and increases in HPI with increasing groundwater discharge. Spatial patterns in DOM composition of winter flow appear to reflect differences in the relative contributions of groundwater from suprapermafrost and subpermafrost aquifers across watersheds. Our findings call for more explicit consideration of DOC loss and stabilization

  6. Circumpolar Active-Layer Permafrost System (CAPS)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Circumpolar Active-Layer Permafrost System (CAPS) contains over 100 data sets pertaining to permafrost and frozen ground topics. It also contains detailed...

  7. Evidence and implications of recent climate change in Northern Alaska and other Arctic regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinzman, L.D.; Bettez, N.D.; Bolton, W.R.; Chapin, F.S.; Dyurgerov, M.B.; Fastie, C.L.; Griffith, B.; Hollister, R.D.; Hope, A.; Huntington, H.P.; Jensen, A.M.; Jia, G.J.; Jorgenson, T.; Kane, D.L.; Klein, D.R.; Kofinas, G.; Lynch, A.H.; Lloyd, A.H.; McGuire, A.D.; Nelson, Frederick E.; Oechel, W.C.; Osterkamp, T.E.; Racine, C.H.; Romanovsky, V.E.; Stone, R.S.; Stow, D.A.; Sturm, M.; Tweedie, C.E.; Vourlitis, G.L.; Walker, M.D.; Walker, D.A.; Webber, P.J.; Welker, J.M.; Winker, K.S.; Yoshikawa, K.

    2005-01-01

    The Arctic climate is changing. Permafrost is warming, hydrological processes are changing and biological and social systems are also evolving in response to these changing conditions. Knowing how the structure and function of arctic terrestrial ecosystems are responding to recent and persistent climate change is paramount to understanding the future state of the Earth system and how humans will need to adapt. Our holistic review presents a broad array of evidence that illustrates convincingly; the Arctic is undergoing a system-wide response to an altered climatic state. New extreme and seasonal surface climatic conditions are being experienced, a range of biophysical states and processes influenced by the threshold and phase change of freezing point are being altered, hydrological and biogeochemical cycles are shifting, and more regularly human sub-systems are being affected. Importantly, the patterns, magnitude and mechanisms of change have sometimes been unpredictable or difficult to isolate due to compounding factors. In almost every discipline represented, we show how the biocomplexity of the Arctic system has highlighted and challenged a paucity of integrated scientific knowledge, the lack of sustained observational and experimental time series, and the technical and logistic constraints of researching the Arctic environment. This study supports ongoing efforts to strengthen the interdisciplinarity of arctic system science and improve the coupling of large scale experimental manipulation with sustained time series observations by incorporating and integrating novel technologies, remote sensing and modeling. ?? Springer 2005.

  8. Permafrost Degradation Risk Zone Assessment using Simulation Models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Daanen, R.P.; Ingeman-Nielsen, Thomas; Marchenko, S.

    2011-01-01

    In this proof-of-concept study we focus on linking large scale climate and permafrost simulations to small scale engineering projects by bridging the gap between climate and permafrost sciences on the one hand and on the other technical recommendation for adaptation of planned infrastructures...... to climate change in a region generally underlain by permafrost. We present the current and future state of permafrost in Greenland as modelled numerically with the GIPL model driven by HIRHAM climate projections up to 2080. We develop a concept called Permafrost Thaw Potential (PTP), defined...... as the potential active layer increase due to climate warming and surface alterations. PTP is then used in a simple risk assessment procedure useful for engineering applications. The modelling shows that climate warming will result in continuing wide-spread permafrost warming and degradation in Greenland...

  9. Natural Disaster Risk and Engagement in the Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eichelberger, J. C.

    2015-12-01

    The Arctic is beset with natural hazards no less than other regions of Earth, but there are some special aspects that require attention. The presence of ice leads to spring river flooding and dynamics of coastal erosion not present in warmer climates. Vast boreal forests are subject to wildfires that are huge pollution events and a positive feedback to climate change through production of CO2, other gases, and black carbon. Darkness and extreme cold that prevail for a significant portion of the year is a challenge to disaster response. Special societal aspects of the Arctic produce vulnerabilities on two scales. One is the development of infrastructure in support of growing extractive industries and Arctic shipping. Reliance on such facilities, which often lack redundancy, and on long supply lines for food and fuel from the south impedes resilience. In 1964, Alaska lost much of its infrastructure to the 9.2 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunamis. Today, Alaska has greater dependency on external supplies and less internal redundancy. Planning that affects vulnerability of infrastructure is often done by corporations and regulated by government agencies based outside the Arctic. The work of scientists who understood Alaska, both within and outside government, provided information to energy corporations persuading them to include expensive design measures into the Trans Alaska Pipeline for crossing an active fault and preventing thawing of permafrost. This is a success story that should not be forgotten. At the other end of the size scale are isolated off-grid and off-road remote communities with fragile power, water, and sanitation facilities. A disaster there can pose an immediate threat to health and even life. Long-term evacuation and the cost a reconstruction may mean that the community is never re-established. Where such communities are centers of indigneous culture, the culture is threatened. With the goal of identifying best practices with these

  10. Correlated declines in Pacific arctic snow and sea ice cover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stone, Robert P.; Douglas, David C.; Belchansky, Gennady I.; Drobot, Sheldon

    2005-01-01

    Simulations of future climate suggest that global warming will reduce Arctic snow and ice cover, resulting in decreased surface albedo (reflectivity). Lowering of the surface albedo leads to further warming by increasing solar absorption at the surface. This phenomenon is referred to as “temperature–albedo feedback.” Anticipation of such a feedback is one reason why scientists look to the Arctic for early indications of global warming. Much of the Arctic has warmed significantly. Northern Hemisphere snow cover has decreased, and sea ice has diminished in area and thickness. As reported in the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment in 2004, the trends are considered to be outside the range of natural variability, implicating global warming as an underlying cause. Changing climatic conditions in the high northern latitudes have influenced biogeochemical cycles on a broad scale. Warming has already affected the sea ice, the tundra, the plants, the animals, and the indigenous populations that depend on them. Changing annual cycles of snow and sea ice also affect sources and sinks of important greenhouse gases (such as carbon dioxide and methane), further complicating feedbacks involving the global budgets of these important constituents. For instance, thawing permafrost increases the extent of tundra wetlands and lakes, releasing greater amounts of methane into the atmosphere. Variable sea ice cover may affect the hemispheric carbon budget by altering the ocean–atmosphere exchange of carbon dioxide. There is growing concern that amplification of global warming in the Arctic will have far-reaching effects on lower latitude climate through these feedback mechanisms. Despite the diverse and convincing observational evidence that the Arctic environment is changing, it remains unclear whether these changes are anthropogenically forced or result from natural variations of the climate system. A better understanding of what controls the seasonal distributions of snow and ice

  11. State of the Arctic Coast 2010: Scientific Review and Outlook

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rachold, V.; Forbes, D. L.; Kremer, H.; Lantuit, H.

    2010-12-01

    The coast is a key interface in the Arctic environment. It is a locus of human activity, a rich band of biodiversity, critical habitat, and high productivity, and among the most dynamic components of the circumpolar landscape. The Arctic coastal interface is a sensitive and important zone of interaction between land and sea, a region that provides essential ecosystem services and supports indigenous human lifestyles; a zone of expanding infrastructure investment and growing security concerns; and an area in which climate warming is expected to trigger landscape instability, rapid responses to change, and increased hazard exposure. Starting with a collaborative workshop in October 2007, the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), the Land-Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone (LOICZ) Project and the International Permafrost Association (IPA) decided to jointly initiate an assessment of the state of the Arctic coast. The goal of this report is to draw on initial findings regarding climate change and human dimensions for the Arctic as a whole provided by the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) and Arctic Human Development Report (AHDR) to develop a comprehensive picture of status and current and anticipated change in the most sensitive Arctic coastal areas. Underlying is the concept of a social ecological system perspective that explores the implications of change for the interaction of humans with nature. The report is aimed to be a first step towards a continuously updated coastal assessment and to identify key issues seeking future scientific concern in an international Earth system research agenda. The report titled “State of the Arctic Coast 2010: Scientific Review and Outlook” is the outcome of this collaborative effort. It is organized in three parts: the first provides an assessment of the state of Arctic coastal systems under three broad disciplinary themes - physical systems, ecological systems, and human concerns in the coastal zone; the

  12. Permafrost and organic layer interactions over a climate gradient in a discontinuous permafrost zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Kristofer D.; Harden, Jennifer W.; McGuire, A. David; Clark, Mark; Yuan, Fengming; Finley, Andrew O.

    2013-09-01

    Permafrost is tightly coupled to the organic soil layer, an interaction that mediates permafrost degradation in response to regional warming. We analyzed changes in permafrost occurrence and organic layer thickness (OLT) using more than 3000 soil pedons across a mean annual temperature (MAT) gradient. Cause and effect relationships between permafrost probability (PF), OLT, and other topographic factors were investigated using structural equation modeling in a multi-group analysis. Groups were defined by slope, soil texture type, and shallow (OLT increase in shallow OLT soils (OLTs) due to an insulation effect, but PF decreased in deep OLT soils (OLTd) by 0.06 for every 10-cm increase. Across the MAT gradient, PF in sandy soils varied little, but PF in loamy and silty soils decreased substantially from cooler to warmer temperatures. The change in OLT was more heterogeneous across soil texture types—in some there was no change while in others OLTs soils thinned and/or OLTd soils thickened at warmer locations. Furthermore, when soil organic carbon was estimated using a relationship with thickness, the average increase in carbon in OLTd soils was almost four times greater compared to the average decrease in carbon in OLTs soils across all soil types. If soils follow a trajectory of warming that mimics the spatial gradients found today, then heterogeneities of permafrost degradation and organic layer thinning and thickening should be considered in the regional carbon balance.

  13. Permafrost Meta-Omics and Climate Change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mackelprang, Rachel; Saleska, Scott R.; Jacobsen, Carsten Suhr; Jansson, Janet K.; Taş, Neslihan

    2016-06-29

    Permafrost (i.e., soil that has been frozen for at least 2 consecutive years) represents a habitat for microbial life at subzero temperatures (Gilichinsky et al. 2008). Approximately one quarter of the Earth’s surface is underlain by permafrost, which contains 25-50% of the total global soil carbon pool (Schuur et al. 2008, Tarnocai et al. 2009). This carbon is largely protected from microbial decomposition by reduced microbial activity in frozen conditions, but climate change is threatening to induce large-scale permafrost thaw thus exposing it to degradation. The resulting emissions of greenhouse gasses (GHGs) can produce a positive feedback loop and significantly amplify the effects of global warming. Increasing temperatures at high latitudes, changes in precipitation patterns, and frequent fire events have already initiated a widespread degradation of permafrost (Schuur et al. 2015).

  14. The Impact of Global Warming on the Carbon Cycle of Arctic Permafrost: An Experimental and Field Based Study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Onstott, Tullis C [Princeton University; Pffifner, Susan M; Chourey, Karuna [Oak Ridge National Laboratory

    2014-11-07

    Our results to date indicate that CO2 and CH4 fluxes from organic poor, Arctic cryosols on Axel Heiberg Island are net CH4 sinks and CO2 emitters in contrast to organic-rich peat deposits at sub-Arctic latitudes. This is based upon field observations and a 1.5 year long thawing experiment performed upon one meter long intact cores. The results of the core thawing experiments are in good agreement with field measurements. Metagenomic, metatranscriptomic and metaproteomic analyses indicate that high affinity aerobic methanotrophs belong to the uncultivated USCalpha are present in <1% abundance in these cryosols are are active in the field during the summer and in the core thawing experiments. The methanotrophs are 100 times more abundant than the methanogens. As a result mineral cryosols, which comprise 87% of Arctic tundra, are net methane sinks. Their presence and activity may account for the discrepancies observed between the atmospheric methane concentrations observed in the Arctic predicted by climate models and the observed seasonal fluctuations and decadal trends. This has not been done yet.

  15. Data-driven mapping of the potential mountain permafrost distribution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deluigi, Nicola; Lambiel, Christophe; Kanevski, Mikhail

    2017-07-15

    Existing mountain permafrost distribution models generally offer a good overview of the potential extent of this phenomenon at a regional scale. They are however not always able to reproduce the high spatial discontinuity of permafrost at the micro-scale (scale of a specific landform; ten to several hundreds of meters). To overcome this lack, we tested an alternative modelling approach using three classification algorithms belonging to statistics and machine learning: Logistic regression, Support Vector Machines and Random forests. These supervised learning techniques infer a classification function from labelled training data (pixels of permafrost absence and presence) with the aim of predicting the permafrost occurrence where it is unknown. The research was carried out in a 588km 2 area of the Western Swiss Alps. Permafrost evidences were mapped from ortho-image interpretation (rock glacier inventorying) and field data (mainly geoelectrical and thermal data). The relationship between selected permafrost evidences and permafrost controlling factors was computed with the mentioned techniques. Classification performances, assessed with AUROC, range between 0.81 for Logistic regression, 0.85 with Support Vector Machines and 0.88 with Random forests. The adopted machine learning algorithms have demonstrated to be efficient for permafrost distribution modelling thanks to consistent results compared to the field reality. The high resolution of the input dataset (10m) allows elaborating maps at the micro-scale with a modelled permafrost spatial distribution less optimistic than classic spatial models. Moreover, the probability output of adopted algorithms offers a more precise overview of the potential distribution of mountain permafrost than proposing simple indexes of the permafrost favorability. These encouraging results also open the way to new possibilities of permafrost data analysis and mapping. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Application of Network Analysis to Identify and Map Relationships between Information Systems in the context of Arctic Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kontar, Y. Y.

    2017-12-01

    The Arctic Council is an intergovernmental forum promoting cooperation, coordination and interaction among the Arctic States and indigenous communities on issues of sustainable development and environmental protection in the North. The work of the Council is primarily carried out by six Working Groups: Arctic Contaminants Action Program, Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme, Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna, Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response, Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment, and Sustainable Development Working Group. The Working Groups are composed of researchers and representatives from government agencies. Each Working Group issues numerous scientific assessments and reports on a broad field of subjects, from climate change to emergency response in the Arctic. A key goal of these publications is to contribute to policy-making in the Arctic. Complex networks of information systems and the connections between the diverse elements within the systems have been identified via network analysis. This allowed to distinguish data sources that were used in the composition of the primary publications of the Working Groups. Next step is to implement network analysis to identify and map the relationships between the Working Groups and policy makers in the Arctic.

  17. Permafrost Monitoring Sonnblick

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reisenhofer, Stefan; Riedl, Claudia

    2014-05-01

    Within the project 'Permafrost Monitoring Sonnblick' (PERSON) the spatial distribution of permafrost is investigated by the 'Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik' (ZAMG) in the Sonnblick area, in the Hohe Tauern in Austria. The aim of PERSON is to identify parameters affecting permafrost (geological, geomorphological, orographical and climatic factors), to determine its spatio-temporal behaviour under present day climate conditions and to estimate its possible future extension under a climate change scenario. PERSON makes use of a permafrost monitoring network that was installed 2005 in the Sonnblick area and is made up by four study sites: On the one hand the spatial extension of permafrost was focused at the ice-dammed lake Pilatus and the rock glacier Zirmsee. On the other hand, at two sites, namely Goldbergspitze and Wintergasse measurements of 'Ground-Surface Temperature' (GST) and 'Bottom Temperatures of the Snow cover' (BTS) are measured. In order to record temperatures in the uppermost layer of the ground and avoid heating by direct solar radiation loggers were buried a few centimetres into the ground or installed in boreholes at depths between 2 and 140 cm. Each of the 'Near Surface Temperature' (NST) borehole mouths is closed up with insulating foam to protect the measurements from atmospheric influence. In addition to these measurements, continuous temperature records from three 20 m deep boreholes located at the southern slope of Hoher Sonnblick are available since 2007, which represent the longest series of its kind in Austria. Furthermore, data from seismic and geoelectric measurements, temperature sensors readings at the surface and extensive meteorological observations from the Sonnblick Observatory are available. Already collected and evaluated data indicate that the thickness of the debris layer around the boreholes reaches a depth of 2 m but no more. The active layer thickness measured in the borehole next to the glacier ranges between

  18. Hydrogeomorphic processes of thermokarst lakes with grounded-ice and floating-ice regimes on the Arctic coastal plain, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arp, C.D.; Jones, Benjamin M.; Urban, F.E.; Grosse, G.

    2011-01-01

    Thermokarst lakes cover > 20% of the landscape throughout much of the Alaskan Arctic Coastal Plain (ACP) with shallow lakes freezing solid (grounded ice) and deeper lakes maintaining perennial liquid water (floating ice). Thus, lake depth relative to maximum ice thickness (1·5–2·0 m) represents an important threshold that impacts permafrost, aquatic habitat, and potentially geomorphic and hydrologic behaviour. We studied coupled hydrogeomorphic processes of 13 lakes representing a depth gradient across this threshold of maximum ice thickness by analysing remotely sensed, water quality, and climatic data over a 35-year period. Shoreline erosion rates due to permafrost degradation ranged from L) with periods of full and nearly dry basins. Shorter-term (2004–2008) specific conductance data indicated a drying pattern across lakes of all depths consistent with the long-term record for only shallow lakes. Our analysis suggests that grounded-ice lakes are ice-free on average 37 days longer than floating-ice lakes resulting in a longer period of evaporative loss and more frequent negative P − EL. These results suggest divergent hydrogeomorphic responses to a changing Arctic climate depending on the threshold created by water depth relative to maximum ice thickness in ACP lakes.

  19. Mountain Permafrost in the Yukon Territory, Canada: Mapping and Modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewkowicz, A. G.; Bonnaventure, P.; Schultz, E.; Etzelmuller, B.

    2006-12-01

    The distribution and characteristics of mountain permafrost in North America are poorly known compared to lowland permafrost, and predictions of climatic change impacts are therefore subject to a higher degree of uncertainty. Recent DC resistivity soundings in association with borehole temperature information in the Yukon Territory, show the wide range of permafrost conditions that can exist at sites separated by short distances. To provide baseline information for future modelling, efforts are underway to produce a detailed map of permafrost probability in the mountains of the southern half of the Yukon Territory (60-65°N), an area greater than 200 x 103km2. The methodology is based on the Basal Temperature of Snow (BTS) technique, first developed in the European Alps. Ground surface temperatures measured at the base of snow > 80 cm thick in late winter are an indicator of permafrost presence or absence. We have used this method successfully in three study areas of about 200 km2: first, Wolf Creek basin near Whitehorse (Lewkowicz and Ednie, 2004) and now the western side of the Ruby Range adjacent to Kluane Lake, and the Haines Summit area in northwestern British Columbia. In each area, (1) we installed miniature temperature loggers at the ground surface and in the air to check on the timing of the BTS measurements; (2) we measured BTS values in the elevation zone across which permafrost was expected to become widespread; (3) we modelled the BTS spatial field using elevation (from a 30 m DEM) and potential incoming solar radiation (PISR) as the independent variables; and (4) we used logistic regression to compare the modelled BTS values with pit observations made in late-summer of the presence or absence of frozen ground. Both elevation and PISR were significant in the Wolf Creek and Ruby Range sites which have relatively continental climates and fall within the Upper Yukon-Stikine Basin climatic region (Wahl et al., 1987). For the Haines Summit area, however

  20. Inferred gas hydrate and permafrost stability history models linked to climate change in the Beaufort-Mackenzie Basin, Arctic Canada

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Majorowicz, J.; Šafanda, Jan; Osadetz, K.

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 8, č. 2 (2012), s. 667-682 ISSN 1814-9324 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30120515 Institutional support: RVO:67985530 Keywords : climate change * Beaufort-Mackenzie Basin * permafrost Subject RIV: DC - Siesmology, Volcanology, Earth Structure Impact factor: 3.556, year: 2012

  1. Quantifying the Variability of CH4 Emissions from Pan-Arctic Lakes with Lake Biogeochemical and Landscape Evolution Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Z.; Zhuang, Q.

    2014-12-01

    Recent studies in the arctic and subarctic show that CH4 emissions from pan-arctic lakes are playing much more significant roles in the regional carbon cycling than previously estimated. Permafrost thawing due to pronounced warming at northern high latitudes affects lake morphology, changing its CH4 emissions. Thermokarst can enlarge the extent of artic lakes, exposing stable ancient carbon buried in the permafrost zone for degradation and changing a previously known carbon sink to a large carbon source. In some areas, the thawing of subarctic discontinuous and isolated permafrost can diminish thermokarst lakes. To date, few models have considered these important hydrological and biogeochemical processes to provide adequate estimation of CH4 emissions from these lakes. To fill this gap, we have developed a process-based climate-sensitive lake biogeochemical model and a landscape evolution model, which have been applied to quantify the state and variability of CH4 emissions from this freshwater system. Site-level experiments show the models are capable to capture the spatial and temporal variability of CH4 emissions from lakes across Siberia and Alaska. With the lake biogeochemical model solely, we estimate that the magnitude of CH4 emissions from lakes is 13.2 Tg yr-1 in the north of 60 ºN at present, which is on the same order of CH4 emissions from northern high-latitude wetlands. The maximum increment is 11.8 Tg CH4 yr-1 by the end of the 21st century when the worst warming scenario is assumed. We expect the landscape evolution model will improve the existing estimates.

  2. Permafrost Meta-Omics and Climate Change

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mackelprang, Rachel; Saleska, Scott R.; Jacobsen, Carsten Suhr

    2016-01-01

    Permanently frozen soil, or permafrost, covers a large portion of the Earth's terrestrial surface and represents a unique environment for cold-adapted microorganisms. As permafrost thaws, previously protected organic matter becomes available for microbial degradation. Microbes that decompose soil...

  3. Functional Characterization of Bacteria Isolated from Ancient Arctic Soil Exposes Diverse Resistance Mechanisms to Modern Antibiotics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perron, Gabriel G.; Whyte, Lyle; Turnbaugh, Peter J.; Goordial, Jacqueline; Hanage, William P.; Dantas, Gautam; Desai, Michael M.

    2015-01-01

    Using functional metagenomics to study the resistomes of bacterial communities isolated from different layers of the Canadian high Arctic permafrost, we show that microbial communities harbored diverse resistance mechanisms at least 5,000 years ago. Among bacteria sampled from the ancient layers of a permafrost core, we isolated eight genes conferring clinical levels of resistance against aminoglycoside, β-lactam and tetracycline antibiotics that are naturally produced by microorganisms. Among these resistance genes, four also conferred resistance against amikacin, a modern semi-synthetic antibiotic that does not naturally occur in microorganisms. In bacteria sampled from the overlaying active layer, we isolated ten different genes conferring resistance to all six antibiotics tested in this study, including aminoglycoside, β-lactam and tetracycline variants that are naturally produced by microorganisms as well as semi-synthetic variants produced in the laboratory. On average, we found that resistance genes found in permafrost bacteria conferred lower levels of resistance against clinically relevant antibiotics than resistance genes sampled from the active layer. Our results demonstrate that antibiotic resistance genes were functionally diverse prior to the anthropogenic use of antibiotics, contributing to the evolution of natural reservoirs of resistance genes. PMID:25807523

  4. Permafrost hydrology in changing climatic conditions: seasonal variability of stable isotope composition in rivers in discontinuous permafrost

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Streletskiy, Dmitry A; Shiklomanov, Nikolay I; Nyland, Kelsey E; Tananaev, Nikita I; Opel, Thomas; Streletskaya, Irina D; Tokarev, Igor’; Shiklomanov, Alexandr I

    2015-01-01

    Role of changing climatic conditions on permafrost degradation and hydrology was investigated in the transition zone between the tundra and forest ecotones at the boundary of continuous and discontinuous permafrost of the lower Yenisei River. Three watersheds of various sizes were chosen to represent the characteristics of the regional landscape conditions. Samples of river flow, precipitation, snow cover, and permafrost ground ice were collected over the watersheds to determine isotopic composition of potential sources of water in a river flow over a two year period. Increases in air temperature over the last forty years have resulted in permafrost degradation and a decrease in the seasonal frost which is evident from soil temperature measurements, permafrost and active-layer monitoring, and analysis of satellite imagery. The lowering of the permafrost table has led to an increased storage capacity of permafrost affected soils and a higher contribution of ground water to river discharge during winter months. A progressive decrease in the thickness of the layer of seasonal freezing allows more water storage and pathways for water during the winter low period making winter discharge dependent on the timing and amount of late summer precipitation. There is a substantial seasonal variability of stable isotopic composition of river flow. Spring flooding corresponds to the isotopic composition of snow cover prior to the snowmelt. Isotopic composition of river flow during the summer period follows the variability of precipitation in smaller creeks, while the water flow of larger watersheds is influenced by the secondary evaporation of water temporarily stored in thermokarst lakes and bogs. Late summer precipitation determines the isotopic composition of texture ice within the active layer in tundra landscapes and the seasonal freezing layer in forested landscapes as well as the composition of the water flow during winter months. (letter)

  5. Presence of rapidly degrading permafrost plateaus in south-central Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Benjamin M.; Baughman, Carson; Romanovsky, Vladimir E.; Parsekian, Andrew D.; Babcock, Esther; Stephani, Eva; Jones, Miriam C.; Grosse, Guido; Berg, Edward E

    2016-01-01

    Permafrost presence is determined by a complex interaction of climatic, topographic, and ecological conditions operating over long time scales. In particular, vegetation and organic layer characteristics may act to protect permafrost in regions with a mean annual air temperature (MAAT) above 0 °C. In this study, we document the presence of residual permafrost plateaus in the western Kenai Peninsula lowlands of south-central Alaska, a region with a MAAT of 1.5 ± 1 °C (1981–2010). Continuous ground temperature measurements between 16 September 2012 and 15 September 2015, using calibrated thermistor strings, documented the presence of warm permafrost (−0.04 to −0.08 °C). Field measurements (probing) on several plateau features during the fall of 2015 showed that the depth to the permafrost table averaged 1.48 m but at some locations was as shallow as 0.53 m. Late winter surveys (augering, coring, and GPR) in 2016 showed that the average seasonally frozen ground thickness was 0.45 m, overlying a talik above the permafrost table. Measured permafrost thickness ranged from 0.33 to  >  6.90 m. Manual interpretation of historic aerial photography acquired in 1950 indicates that residual permafrost plateaus covered 920 ha as mapped across portions of four wetland complexes encompassing 4810 ha. However, between 1950 and ca. 2010, permafrost plateau extent decreased by 60.0 %, with lateral feature degradation accounting for 85.0 % of the reduction in area. Permafrost loss on the Kenai Peninsula is likely associated with a warming climate, wildfires that remove the protective forest and organic layer cover, groundwater flow at depth, and lateral heat transfer from wetland surface waters in the summer. Better understanding the resilience and vulnerability of ecosystem-protected permafrost is critical for mapping and predicting future permafrost extent and degradation across all permafrost regions that are currently warming

  6. Permafrost knowledge to serve as foundation for Inuit community planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibéryen, T.; Allard, M.

    2011-12-01

    With the recent announcement of Québec's provincial government's Plan Nord, Nunavik will see a 500 new houses sweep onto it's territory over the next 5 years. The local Inuit communities are confronted with the pressuring need to find suitable land to safely accommodate the new infrastructures in the long term. Additional to human and environmental constraints are those related to warming permafrost. Intensive studies on four Nunavik communities (Inukjuak, Puvirnituq, Akulivik, Kangirsuk) have allowed us to extensively consult local and regional authorities on their planning and management considerations. Recent and archived drilling data have been used to corroborate air photo interpretation, surficial geology and permafrost mapping. All collected information are integrated into aggregated maps that will eventually serve as community master plans. General recommendations on how to best manage and plan for community expansions on warming permafrost are made. Appropriate engineering techniques assuring long-term stable foundations are outlined and additionally mapped, taking into consideration the variable terrain conditions and simulated changes in permafrost temperature and active layer thickness according to climate change scenarios. The final purpose of our results is for them to support local and regional governments in their community planning process towards the best possible climate change adaptation strategies.

  7. Microbial diversity in European alpine permafrost and active layers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frey, Beat; Rime, Thomas; Phillips, Marcia; Stierli, Beat; Hajdas, Irka; Widmer, Franco; Hartmann, Martin

    2016-03-01

    Permafrost represents a largely understudied genetic resource. Thawing of permafrost with global warming will not only promote microbial carbon turnover with direct feedback on greenhouse gases, but also unlock an unknown microbial diversity. Pioneering metagenomic efforts have shed light on the permafrost microbiome in polar regions, but temperate mountain permafrost is largely understudied. We applied a unique experimental design coupled to high-throughput sequencing of ribosomal markers to characterize the microbiota at the long-term alpine permafrost study site 'Muot-da-Barba-Peider' in eastern Switzerland with an approximate radiocarbon age of 12 000 years. Compared to the active layers, the permafrost community was more diverse and enriched with members of the superphylum Patescibacteria (OD1, TM7, GN02 and OP11). These understudied phyla with no cultured representatives proposedly feature small streamlined genomes with reduced metabolic capabilities, adaptations to anaerobic fermentative metabolisms and potential ectosymbiotic lifestyles. The permafrost microbiota was also enriched with yeasts and lichenized fungi known to harbour various structural and functional adaptation mechanisms to survive under extreme sub-zero conditions. These data yield an unprecedented view on microbial life in temperate mountain permafrost, which is increasingly important for understanding the biological dynamics of permafrost in order to anticipate potential ecological trajectories in a warming world. © FEMS 2016. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  8. Anaerobic methanotrophic communities thrive in deep submarine permafrost.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winkel, Matthias; Mitzscherling, Julia; Overduin, Pier P; Horn, Fabian; Winterfeld, Maria; Rijkers, Ruud; Grigoriev, Mikhail N; Knoblauch, Christian; Mangelsdorf, Kai; Wagner, Dirk; Liebner, Susanne

    2018-01-22

    Thawing submarine permafrost is a source of methane to the subsurface biosphere. Methane oxidation in submarine permafrost sediments has been proposed, but the responsible microorganisms remain uncharacterized. We analyzed archaeal communities and identified distinct anaerobic methanotrophic assemblages of marine and terrestrial origin (ANME-2a/b, ANME-2d) both in frozen and completely thawed submarine permafrost sediments. Besides archaea potentially involved in anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) we found a large diversity of archaea mainly belonging to Bathyarchaeota, Thaumarchaeota, and Euryarchaeota. Methane concentrations and δ 13 C-methane signatures distinguish horizons of potential AOM coupled either to sulfate reduction in a sulfate-methane transition zone (SMTZ) or to the reduction of other electron acceptors, such as iron, manganese or nitrate. Analysis of functional marker genes (mcrA) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) corroborate potential activity of AOM communities in submarine permafrost sediments at low temperatures. Modeled potential AOM consumes 72-100% of submarine permafrost methane and up to 1.2 Tg of carbon per year for the total expected area of submarine permafrost. This is comparable with AOM habitats such as cold seeps. We thus propose that AOM is active where submarine permafrost thaws, which should be included in global methane budgets.

  9. Dynamics of Permafrost Associated Methane Hydrate in Response to Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    You, K.; Flemings, P. B.

    2014-12-01

    The formation and melting of methane hydrate and ice are intertwined in permafrost regions. A shortage of methane supply leads to formation of hydrate only at depth, below the base of permafrost. We consider a system with the ground surface initially at 0 oC with neither ice nor hydrate present. We abruptly decrease the temperature from 0 to -10 oC to simulate the effect of marine regression/ global cooling. A low methane supply rate of 0.005 kg m-2 yr-1 from depth leads to distinct ice and hydrate layers: a 100 m continuous hydrate layer is present beneath 850 m at 80 k.y.. However, a high methane supply rate of 0.1 kg m-2 yr-1 leads to 50 m ice-bonded methane hydrate at the base of permafrost, and the hydrate layer distributes between the depth of 350 and 700 m at 80 k.y.. We apply our model to illuminate future melting of hydrate at Mallik, a known Arctic hydrate accumulation. We assume a 600 m thick ice saturated (average 90%) layer extending downward from the ground surface. We increase the surface temperature linearly from -6 to 0 oC for 300 yr and then keep the surface temperature at 0 oC to reflect future climate warming caused by doubling of CO2. Hydrate melting is initiated at the base of the hydrate layer after 15 k.y.. Methane gas starts to vent to the atmosphere at 38 k.y. with an average flux of ~ 0.35 g m-2 yr-1. If the 600 m thick average ice saturation is decreased to half (45%) (or to zero), methane gas starts to vent to the atmosphere at 29 k.y. (or at 20 k.y.) with the same average flux. These results are found by a newly-developed fully-coupled multiphase multicomponent fluid flow and heat transport model. Our thermodynamic equilibrium-based model emphasizes the role of salinity in both ice and hydrate dynamics.

  10. Mapping Arctic Bottomfast Sea Ice Using SAR Interferometry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dyre O. Dammann

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Bottomfast sea ice is an integral part of many near-coastal Arctic ecosystems with implications for subsea permafrost, coastal stability and morphology. Bottomfast sea ice is also of great relevance to over-ice travel by coastal communities, industrial ice roads, and marine habitats. There are currently large uncertainties around where and how much bottomfast ice is present in the Arctic due to the lack of effective approaches for detecting bottomfast sea ice on large spatial scales. Here, we suggest a robust method capable of detecting bottomfast sea ice using spaceborne synthetic aperture radar interferometry. This approach is used to discriminate between slowly deforming floating ice and completely stationary bottomfast ice based on the interferometric phase. We validate the approach over freshwater ice in the Mackenzie Delta, Canada, and over sea ice in the Colville Delta and Elson Lagoon, Alaska. For these areas, bottomfast ice, as interpreted from the interferometric phase, shows high correlation with local bathymetry and in-situ ice auger and ground penetrating radar measurements. The technique is further used to track the seasonal evolution of bottomfast ice in the Kasegaluk Lagoon, Alaska, by identifying freeze-up progression and areas of liquid water throughout winter.

  11. Microorganisms Trapped Within Permafrost Ice In The Fox Permafrost Tunnel, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katayama, T.; Tanaka, M.; Douglas, T. A.; Cai, Y.; Tomita, F.; Asano, K.; Fukuda, M.

    2008-12-01

    Several different types of massive ice are common in permafrost. Ice wedges are easily recognized by their shape and foliated structure. They grow syngenetically or epigenetically as a result of repeated cycles of frost cracking followed by the infiltration of snow, melt water, soil or other material into the open frost cracks. Material incorporated into ice wedges becomes frozen and preserved. Pool ice, another massive ice type, is formed by the freezing of water resting on top of frozen thermokarst sediment or melting wedges and is not foliated. The Fox Permafrost Tunnel in Fairbanks was excavated within the discontinuous permafrost zone of central Alaska and it contains permafrost, ice wedges, and pool ice preserved at roughly -3°C. We collected samples from five ice wedges and three pool ice structures in the Fox Permafrost Tunnel. If the microorganisms were incorporated into the ice during its formation, a community analysis of the microorganisms could elucidate the environment in which the ice was formed. Organic material from sediments in the tunnel was radiocarbon-dated between 14,000 and 30,000 years BP. However, it is still not clear when the ice wedges were formed or subsequently deformed because they are only partially exposed and their upper surfaces are above the tunnel walls. The objectives of our study were to determine the biogeochemical conditions during massive ice formation and to analyze the microbial community within the ices by incubation-based and DNA-based analyses. The geochemical profile and the PCR-DGGE band patterns of bacteria among five ice wedge and 3 portions of pool ice samples were markedly different. The DGGE band patterns of fungi were simple with a few bands of fungi or yeast. The dominant bands of ice wedge and pool ice samples were affiliated with the genus Geomyces and Doratomyces, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis using rRNA gene ITS regions indicated isolates of Geomyces spp. from different ice wedges were affiliated

  12. Morphology-dependent water budgets and nutrient fluxes in arctic thaw ponds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koch, Joshua C.; Gurney, Kirsty; Wipfli, Mark S.

    2014-01-01

    Thaw ponds on the Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska are productive ecosystems, providing habitat and food resources for many fish and bird species. Permafrost in this region creates unique pond morphologies: deep troughs, shallow low-centred polygons (LCPs) and larger coalescent ponds. By monitoring seasonal trends in pond volume and chemistry, we evaluated whether pond morphology and size affect water temperature and desiccation, and nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) fluxes. Evaporation was the largest early-summer water flux in all pond types. LCPs dried quickly and displayed high early-summer nutrient concentrations and losses. Troughs consistently received solute-rich subsurface inflows, which accounted for 12 to 42 per cent of their volume and may explain higher P in the troughs. N to P ratios increased and ammonium concentrations decreased with pond volume, suggesting that P and inorganic N availability may limit ecosystem productivity in older, larger ponds. Arctic summer temperatures will likely increase in the future, which may accelerate mid-summer desiccation. Given their morphology, troughs may remain wet, become warmer and derive greater nutrient loads from their thawing banks. Overall, seasonal- to decadal-scale warming may increase ecosystem productivity in troughs relative to other Arctic Coastal Plain ponds. 

  13. The effect of misleading surface temperature estimations on the sensible heat fluxes at a high Arctic site – the Arctic Turbulence Experiment 2006 on Svalbard (ARCTEX-2006

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Lüers

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The observed rapid climate warming in the Arctic requires improvements in permafrost and carbon cycle monitoring, accomplished by setting up long-term observation sites with high-quality in-situ measurements of turbulent heat, water and carbon fluxes as well as soil physical parameters in Arctic landscapes. But accurate quantification and well adapted parameterizations of turbulent fluxes in polar environments presents fundamental problems in soil-snow-ice-vegetation-atmosphere interaction studies. One of these problems is the accurate estimation of the surface or aerodynamic temperature T(0 required to force most of the bulk aerodynamic formulae currently used. Results from the Arctic-Turbulence-Experiment (ARCTEX-2006 performed on Svalbard during the winter/spring transition 2006 helped to better understand the physical exchange and transport processes of energy. The existence of an atypical temperature profile close to the surface in the Arctic spring at Svalbard could be proven to be one of the major issues hindering estimation of the appropriate surface temperature. Thus, it is essential to adjust the set-up of measurement systems carefully when applying flux-gradient methods that are commonly used to force atmosphere-ocean/land-ice models. The results of a comparison of different sensible heat-flux parameterizations with direct measurements indicate that the use of a hydrodynamic three-layer temperature-profile model achieves the best fit and reproduces the temporal variability of the surface temperature better than other approaches.

  14. Arctic Haze Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mei, Linlu; Xue, Yong

    2013-04-01

    , including satellite remote sensing, ground-based observations and modelling. The key question is which information should be used for analysis and how to integrate the source information. The behavior of different atmospheric parameters as described in the paper is consistent and the analysis using satellite atmospheric parameters is in line with synoptic charts. Hence the different data sources are complementary and the results support each other (Mei et al., 2011). In the paper, Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) from both satellite retrieval data and ground-based measurements were analyzed the characteristic, especially the absorption. We also discuss the effect of Arctic haze to the Arctic temperature, snow albedo and arctic flux in details.

  15. Photochemical alteration of organic carbon draining permafrost soils shifts microbial metabolic pathways and stimulates respiration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Collin P; Nalven, Sarah G; Crump, Byron C; Kling, George W; Cory, Rose M

    2017-10-03

    In sunlit waters, photochemical alteration of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) impacts the microbial respiration of DOC to CO 2 . This coupled photochemical and biological degradation of DOC is especially critical for carbon budgets in the Arctic, where thawing permafrost soils increase opportunities for DOC oxidation to CO 2 in surface waters, thereby reinforcing global warming. Here we show how and why sunlight exposure impacts microbial respiration of DOC draining permafrost soils. Sunlight significantly increases or decreases microbial respiration of DOC depending on whether photo-alteration produces or removes molecules that native microbial communities used prior to light exposure. Using high-resolution chemical and microbial approaches, we show that rates of DOC processing by microbes are likely governed by a combination of the abundance and lability of DOC exported from land to water and produced by photochemical processes, and the capacity and timescale that microbial communities have to adapt to metabolize photo-altered DOC.The role of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) photo-alteration in the microbial respiration of DOC to CO 2 is unclear. Here, the authors show that the impact of this mechanism depends on whether photo-alteration of DOC produces or removes molecules used by native microbial communities prior to light exposure.

  16. Approaching a Postcolonial Arctic

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Lars

    2016-01-01

    This article explores different postcolonially configured approaches to the Arctic. It begins by considering the Arctic as a region, an entity, and how the customary political science informed approaches are delimited by their focus on understanding the Arctic as a region at the service...... of the contemporary neoliberal order. It moves on to explore how different parts of the Arctic are inscribed in a number of sub-Arctic nation-state binds, focusing mainly on Canada and Denmark. The article argues that the postcolonial can be understood as a prism or a methodology that asks pivotal questions to all...... approaches to the Arctic. Yet the postcolonial itself is characterised by limitations, not least in this context its lack of interest in the Arctic, and its bias towards conventional forms of representation in art. The article points to the need to develop a more integrated critique of colonial and neo...

  17. The Arctic Observing Network (AON)Cooperative Arctic Data and Information Service (CADIS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, J.; Fetterer, F.; Middleton, D.; Ramamurthy, M.; Barry, R.

    2007-12-01

    The Arctic Observing Network (AON) is intended to be a federation of 34 land, atmosphere and ocean observation sites, some already operating and some newly funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation. This International Polar Year (IPY) initiative will acquire a major portion of the data coming from the interagency Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH). AON will succeed in supporting the science envisioned by its planners only if it functions as a system and not as a collection of independent observation programs. Development and implementation of a comprehensive data management strategy will key a key to the success of this effort. AON planners envision an ideal data management system that includes a portal through which scientists can submit metadata and datasets at a single location; search the complete archive and find all data relevant to a location or process; all data have browse imagery and complete documentation; time series or fields can be plotted on line, and all data are in a relational database so that multiple data sets and sources can be queried and retrieved. The Cooperative Arctic Data and Information Service (CADIS) will provide near-real-time data delivery, a long-term repository for data, a portal for data discovery, and tools to manipulate data by building on existing tools like the Unidata Integrated Data Viewer (IDV). Our approach to the data integration challenge is to start by asking investigators to provide metadata via a general purpose user interface. An entry tool assists PIs in writing metadata and submitting data. Data can be submitted to the archive in NetCDF with Climate and Forecast conventions or in one of several other standard formats where possible. CADIS is a joint effort of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). In the first year, we are concentrating on establishing metadata protocols that

  18. Using fluorescent dissolved organic matter to trace and distinguish the origin of Arctic surface waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonçalves-Araujo, Rafael; Granskog, Mats A.; Bracher, Astrid; Azetsu-Scott, Kumiko; Dodd, Paul A.; Stedmon, Colin A.

    2016-01-01

    Climate change affects the Arctic with regards to permafrost thaw, sea-ice melt, alterations to the freshwater budget and increased export of terrestrial material to the Arctic Ocean. The Fram and Davis Straits represent the major gateways connecting the Arctic and Atlantic. Oceanographic surveys were performed in the Fram and Davis Straits, and on the east Greenland Shelf (EGS), in late summer 2012/2013. Meteoric (fmw), sea-ice melt, Atlantic and Pacific water fractions were determined and the fluorescence properties of dissolved organic matter (FDOM) were characterized. In Fram Strait and EGS, a robust correlation between visible wavelength fluorescence and fmw was apparent, suggesting it as a reliable tracer of polar waters. However, a pattern was observed which linked the organic matter characteristics to the origin of polar waters. At depth in Davis Strait, visible wavelength FDOM was correlated to apparent oxygen utilization (AOU) and traced deep-water DOM turnover. In surface waters FDOM characteristics could distinguish between surface waters from eastern (Atlantic + modified polar waters) and western (Canada-basin polar waters) Arctic sectors. The findings highlight the potential of designing in situ multi-channel DOM fluorometers to trace the freshwater origins and decipher water mass mixing dynamics in the region without laborious samples analyses. PMID:27667721

  19. Lateglacial and Holocene climate, disturbance and permafrost peatland dynamics on the Seward Peninsula, western Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, Stephanie D.; Yu, Zicheng; Jones, Miriam C.

    2013-01-01

    peatland at permafrost site (NL10-1) is characterized by rapid C accumulation (66 g C m−2 yr−1), high OM content and a peak in Sphagnum spp. at 5.8–4.6 ka, suggesting the lack of permafrost. A transition to extremely low C accumulation rates of 6.3 g C m−2 yr−1 after 4.5 ka at this site suggests the onset of permafrost aggradation, likely in response to Neoglacial climate cooling as documented across the circum-Arctic region. A similar decrease in C accumulation rates also occurred at non-permafrost site NL10-2. Time-weighted C accumulation rates are 21.8 g C m−2 yr−1 for core NL10-1 during the last ∼6.5 ka and 14.8 g C m−2 yr−1 for core NL10-2 during the last ∼15 ka. Evidence from peat-core analysis and historical aerial photographs shows an abrupt increase in Sphagnum spp. and decrease in area of thermokarst lakes over the last century, suggesting major changes in hydrology and ecosystem structure, likely due to recent climate warming.Our results show that the thermokarst–permafrost complex was much more dynamic with high C accumulation rates under warmer climates in the past, while permafrost was stabilized and C accumulation slowed down following the Neoglacial cooling in the late Holocene. Furthermore, permafrost presence at local scales is controlled by both regional climate and site-specific factors, highlighting the challenge in projecting responses of permafrost peatlands and their C dynamics to future climate change.

  20. Inundation, sedimentation, and subsidence creates goose habitat along the Arctic coast of Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tape, Ken D.; Flint, Paul L.; Meixell, Brandt W.; Gaglioti, Benjamin V.

    2013-01-01

    The Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska is characterized by thermokarst lakes and drained lake basins, and the rate of coastal erosion has increased during the last half-century. Portions of the coast are sea level for kilometers inland, and are underlain by ice-rich permafrost. Increased storm surges or terrestrial subsidence would therefore expand the area subject to marine inundation. Since 1976, the distribution of molting Black Brant (Branta bernicla nigricans) on the Arctic Coastal Plain has shifted from inland freshwater lakes to coastal marshes, such as those occupying the Smith River and Garry Creek estuaries. We hypothesized that the movement of geese from inland lakes was caused by an expansion of high quality goose forage in coastal areas. We examined the recent history of vegetation and geomorphological changes in coastal goose habitat by combining analysis of time series imagery between 1948 and 2010 with soil stratigraphy dated using bomb-curve radiocarbon. Time series of vertical imagery and in situ verification showed permafrost thaw and subsidence of polygonal tundra. Soil stratigraphy and dating within coastal estuaries showed that non-saline vegetation communities were buried by multiple sedimentation episodes between 1948 and 1995, accompanying a shift toward salt-tolerant vegetation. This sedimentation allowed high quality goose forage plants to expand, thus facilitating the shift in goose distribution. Declining sea ice and the increasing rate of terrestrial inundation, sedimentation, and subsidence in coastal estuaries of Alaska may portend a 'tipping point' whereby inland areas would be transformed into salt marshes.

  1. Permafrost thaw and intense thermokarst activity decreases abundance of stream benthic macroinvertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chin, Krista S; Lento, Jennifer; Culp, Joseph M; Lacelle, Denis; Kokelj, Steven V

    2016-08-01

    Intensification of permafrost thaw has increased the frequency and magnitude of large permafrost slope disturbances (mega slumps) in glaciated terrain of northwestern Canada. Individual thermokarst disturbances up to 40 ha in area have made large volumes of previously frozen sediments available for leaching and transport to adjacent streams, significantly increasing sediment and solute loads in these systems. To test the effects of this climate-sensitive disturbance regime on the ecology of Arctic streams, we explored the relationship between physical and chemical variables and benthic macroinvertebrate communities in disturbed and undisturbed stream reaches in the Peel Plateau, Northwest Territories, Canada. Highly disturbed and undisturbed stream reaches differed with respect to taxonomic composition and invertebrate abundance. Minimally disturbed reaches were not differentiated by these variables but rather were distributed along a disturbance gradient between highly disturbed and undisturbed sites. In particular, there was evidence of a strong negative relationship between macroinvertebrate abundance and total suspended solids, and a positive relationship between abundance and the distance from the disturbance. Increases in both sediments and nutrients appear to be the proximate cause of community differences in highly disturbed streams. Declines in macroinvertebrate abundance in response to slump activity have implications for the food webs of these systems, potentially leading to negative impacts on higher trophic levels, such as fish. Furthermore, the disturbance impacts on stream health can be expected to intensify as climate change increases the frequency and magnitude of thermokarst. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Quantifying uncertainties of permafrost carbon–climate feedbacks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. J. Burke

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The land surface models JULES (Joint UK Land Environment Simulator, two versions and ORCHIDEE-MICT (Organizing Carbon and Hydrology in Dynamic Ecosystems, each with a revised representation of permafrost carbon, were coupled to the Integrated Model Of Global Effects of climatic aNomalies (IMOGEN intermediate-complexity climate and ocean carbon uptake model. IMOGEN calculates atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2 and local monthly surface climate for a given emission scenario with the land–atmosphere CO2 flux exchange from either JULES or ORCHIDEE-MICT. These simulations include feedbacks associated with permafrost carbon changes in a warming world. Both IMOGEN–JULES and IMOGEN–ORCHIDEE-MICT were forced by historical and three alternative future-CO2-emission scenarios. Those simulations were performed for different climate sensitivities and regional climate change patterns based on 22 different Earth system models (ESMs used for CMIP3 (phase 3 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project, allowing us to explore climate uncertainties in the context of permafrost carbon–climate feedbacks. Three future emission scenarios consistent with three representative concentration pathways were used: RCP2.6, RCP4.5 and RCP8.5. Paired simulations with and without frozen carbon processes were required to quantify the impact of the permafrost carbon feedback on climate change. The additional warming from the permafrost carbon feedback is between 0.2 and 12 % of the change in the global mean temperature (ΔT by the year 2100 and 0.5 and 17 % of ΔT by 2300, with these ranges reflecting differences in land surface models, climate models and emissions pathway. As a percentage of ΔT, the permafrost carbon feedback has a greater impact on the low-emissions scenario (RCP2.6 than on the higher-emissions scenarios, suggesting that permafrost carbon should be taken into account when evaluating scenarios of heavy mitigation and stabilization

  3. Transient thermal modeling of permafrost conditions in Southern Norway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Westermann

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Thermal modeling is a powerful tool to infer the temperature regime of the ground in permafrost areas. We present a transient permafrost model, CryoGrid 2, that calculates ground temperatures according to conductive heat transfer in the soil and in the snowpack. CryoGrid 2 is forced by operational air temperature and snow-depth products for potential permafrost areas in Southern Norway for the period 1958 to 2009 at 1 km2 spatial resolution. In total, an area of about 80 000 km2 is covered. The model results are validated against borehole temperatures, permafrost probability maps from "bottom temperature of snow" measurements and inventories of landforms indicative of permafrost occurrence. The validation demonstrates that CryoGrid 2 can reproduce the observed lower permafrost limit to within 100 m at all validation sites, while the agreement between simulated and measured borehole temperatures is within 1 K for most sites. The number of grid cells with simulated permafrost does not change significantly between the 1960s and 1990s. In the 2000s, a significant reduction of about 40% of the area with average 2 m ground temperatures below 0 °C is found, which mostly corresponds to degrading permafrost with still negative temperatures in deeper ground layers. The thermal conductivity of the snow is the largest source of uncertainty in CryoGrid 2, strongly affecting the simulated permafrost area. Finally, the prospects of employing CryoGrid 2 as an operational soil-temperature product for Norway are discussed.

  4. Nonlinear CO2 flux response to 7 years of experimentally induced permafrost thaw.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mauritz, Marguerite; Bracho, Rosvel; Celis, Gerardo; Hutchings, Jack; Natali, Susan M; Pegoraro, Elaine; Salmon, Verity G; Schädel, Christina; Webb, Elizabeth E; Schuur, Edward A G

    2017-09-01

    Rapid Arctic warming is expected to increase global greenhouse gas concentrations as permafrost thaw exposes immense stores of frozen carbon (C) to microbial decomposition. Permafrost thaw also stimulates plant growth, which could offset C loss. Using data from 7 years of experimental Air and Soil warming in moist acidic tundra, we show that Soil warming had a much stronger effect on CO 2 flux than Air warming. Soil warming caused rapid permafrost thaw and increased ecosystem respiration (R eco ), gross primary productivity (GPP), and net summer CO 2 storage (NEE). Over 7 years R eco , GPP, and NEE also increased in Control (i.e., ambient plots), but this change could be explained by slow thaw in Control areas. In the initial stages of thaw, R eco , GPP, and NEE increased linearly with thaw across all treatments, despite different rates of thaw. As thaw in Soil warming continued to increase linearly, ground surface subsidence created saturated microsites and suppressed R eco , GPP, and NEE. However R eco and GPP remained high in areas with large Eriophorum vaginatum biomass. In general NEE increased with thaw, but was more strongly correlated with plant biomass than thaw, indicating that higher R eco in deeply thawed areas during summer months was balanced by GPP. Summer CO 2 flux across treatments fit a single quadratic relationship that captured the functional response of CO 2 flux to thaw, water table depth, and plant biomass. These results demonstrate the importance of indirect thaw effects on CO 2 flux: plant growth and water table dynamics. Nonsummer R eco models estimated that the area was an annual CO 2 source during all years of observation. Nonsummer CO 2 loss in warmer, more deeply thawed soils exceeded the increases in summer GPP, and thawed tundra was a net annual CO 2 source. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Decadal vegetation changes in a northern peatland, greenhouse gas fluxes and net radiative forcing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Johansson, Torbjörn; Malmer, Nils; Crill, Patrick M

    2006-01-01

    SUB-ARCTIC MIRE; CLIMATE-CHANGE; BOREAL PEATLANDS; METHANE EMISSIONS; VASCULAR PLANTS; CARBON-DIOXIDE; PERMAFROST THAW; CO2 EXCHANGE; WATER-TABLE......SUB-ARCTIC MIRE; CLIMATE-CHANGE; BOREAL PEATLANDS; METHANE EMISSIONS; VASCULAR PLANTS; CARBON-DIOXIDE; PERMAFROST THAW; CO2 EXCHANGE; WATER-TABLE...

  6. Seasonality of primary and secondary production in an Arctic river

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kendrick, M.; Huryn, A.; Deegan, L.

    2011-12-01

    Rivers and streams that freeze solid for 8-9 months each year provide excellent examples of the extreme seasonality of arctic habitats. The communities of organisms inhabiting these rivers must complete growth and development during summer, resulting in a rapid ramp-up and down of production over the short ice-free period. The effects of recent shifts in the timing of the spring thaw and autumn freeze-up on the duration and pattern of the period of active production are poorly understood. We are currently investigating: 1) the response of the biotic community of the Kuparuk River (Arctic Alaska) to shifts in the seasonality of the ice-free period, and 2) the community response to increases in phosphorous (P) supply anticipated as the volume of the permafrost active-layer increases in response to climate warming. Here algal production supports a 2-tier web of consumers. We tracked primary and secondary production from the spring thaw through mid-August in a reference reach and one receiving low-level P fertilization. Gross primary production/community respiration (GPP/R) ratios for both reaches were increasing through mid-July, with higher GPP/R in response to the P addition. Understanding the degree of synchrony between primary and secondary production in this Arctic river system will enhance further understanding of how shifts in seasonality affect trophic dynamics.

  7. Physiological and ecological effects of increasing temperature on fish production in lakes of Arctic Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carey, Michael P.; Zimmerman, Christian E.

    2014-01-01

    Lake ecosystems in the Arctic are changing rapidly due to climate warming. Lakes are sensitive integrators of climate-induced changes and prominent features across the Arctic landscape, especially in lowland permafrost regions such as the Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska. Despite many studies on the implications of climate warming, how fish populations will respond to lake changes is uncertain for Arctic ecosystems. Least Cisco (Coregonus sardinella) is a bellwether for Arctic lakes as an important consumer and prey resource. To explore the consequences of climate warming, we used a bioenergetics model to simulate changes in Least Cisco production under future climate scenarios for lakes on the Arctic Coastal Plain. First, we used current temperatures to fit Least Cisco consumption to observed annual growth. We then estimated growth, holding food availability, and then feeding rate constant, for future projections of temperature. Projected warmer water temperatures resulted in reduced Least Cisco production, especially for larger size classes, when food availability was held constant. While holding feeding rate constant, production of Least Cisco increased under all future scenarios with progressively more growth in warmer temperatures. Higher variability occurred with longer projections of time mirroring the expanding uncertainty in climate predictions further into the future. In addition to direct temperature effects on Least Cisco growth, we also considered changes in lake ice phenology and prey resources for Least Cisco. A shorter period of ice cover resulted in increased production, similar to warming temperatures. Altering prey quality had a larger effect on fish production in summer than winter and increased relative growth of younger rather than older age classes of Least Cisco. Overall, we predicted increased production of Least Cisco due to climate warming in lakes of Arctic Alaska. Understanding the implications of increased production of Least Cisco to

  8. Monitoring Seasonal Changes in Permafrost Using Seismic Interferometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    James, S. R.; Knox, H. A.; Abbott, R. E.

    2015-12-01

    The effects of climate change in polar regions and their incorporation in global climate models has recently become an area of great interest. Permafrost holds entrapped greenhouse gases, e.g. CO2 and CH4, which are released to the atmosphere upon thawing, creating a positive feedback mechanism. Knowledge of seasonal changes in active layer thickness as well as long term degradation of permafrost is critical to the management of high latitude infrastructures, hazard mitigation, and increasing the accuracy of climate predictions. Methods for effectively imaging the spatial extent, depth, thickness, and discontinuous nature of permafrost over large areas are needed. Furthermore, continuous monitoring of permafrost over annual time scales would provide valuable insight into permafrost degradation. Seismic interferometry using ambient seismic noise has proven effective for recording velocity changes within the subsurface for a variety of applications, but has yet to be applied to permafrost studies. To this end, we deployed 7 Nanometrics Trillium posthole broadband seismometers within Poker Flat Research Range, located 30 miles north of Fairbanks, Alaska in a zone of discontinuous permafrost. Approximately 2 years worth of nearly continuous ambient noise data was collected. Using the python package MSNoise, relative changes in velocity were calculated. Results show high amounts of variability throughout the study period. General trends of negative relative velocity shifts can be seen between August and October followed by a positive relative velocity shift between November and February. Differences in relative velocity changes with both frequency and spatial location are also observed, suggesting this technique is sensitive to permafrost variation with depth and extent. Overall, short and long term changes in shallow subsurface velocity can be recovered using this method proposing seismic interferometry is a promising new technique for permafrost monitoring. Sandia

  9. Permafrost: occurrence and physiochemical processes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ahonen, L.

    2001-10-01

    Bedrock of the Northern Hemisphere areas to the north of about the 60th latitude are nowadays dominated by permafrost conditions. Fennoscandia is a major exception being characterised by temperate climate. In studying deep geological disposal of long-living nuclear waste, long-term climatic changes have to be taken into account. One of the scenarios to be studied is the extension of the deep permafrost conditions to the disposal site. Quaternary climatic fluctuations and their possible reasons are discussed shortly. The author's conclusion is that future climatic changes cannot be undoubtedly derived from the past variations, mainly because of the current anthropogenic involvement and of the poorly known dynamics of the major climate-affecting factors like ocean currents, which cannot be treated in a deterministic way. In low-porosity crystalline rocks permafrost may propagate to the depth of about 500 metres in some thousands to ten thousands of years. On the other hand, the major effects of permafrost are related to the freezing of water in the pores. Water expands about 9 percent in freezing, and the increasing stress may lead to pressure melting of ice. Dissolved salts in water do not accommodate into the solid ice, but they form saline water or brine segregations having freezing point of even less than minus ten degrees. A front of saline water may develop beneath the frozen bedrock. Pockets of saline water may also occur in ice, and unfrozen adsorption water may occur on the grain boundaries. With respect to the radionuclide transport processes, permafrost as such is a barrier, while the unfrozen domains (taliks) beneath major lake and river systems are potential flow paths. (orig.)

  10. Permafrost: occurrence and physiochemical processes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ahonen, L. [Geological Survey of Finland, Espoo (Finland)

    2001-10-01

    Bedrock of the Northern Hemisphere areas to the north of about the 60th latitude are nowadays dominated by permafrost conditions. Fennoscandia is a major exception being characterised by temperate climate. In studying deep geological disposal of long-living nuclear waste, long-term climatic changes have to be taken into account. One of the scenarios to be studied is the extension of the deep permafrost conditions to the disposal site. Quaternary climatic fluctuations and their possible reasons are discussed shortly. The author's conclusion is that future climatic changes cannot be undoubtedly derived from the past variations, mainly because of the current anthropogenic involvement and of the poorly known dynamics of the major climate-affecting factors like ocean currents, which cannot be treated in a deterministic way. In low-porosity crystalline rocks permafrost may propagate to the depth of about 500 metres in some thousands to ten thousands of years. On the other hand, the major effects of permafrost are related to the freezing of water in the pores. Water expands about 9 percent in freezing, and the increasing stress may lead to pressure melting of ice. Dissolved salts in water do not accommodate into the solid ice, but they form saline water or brine segregations having freezing point of even less than minus ten degrees. A front of saline water may develop beneath the frozen bedrock. Pockets of saline water may also occur in ice, and unfrozen adsorption water may occur on the grain boundaries. With respect to the radionuclide transport processes, permafrost as such is a barrier, while the unfrozen domains (taliks) beneath major lake and river systems are potential flow paths. (orig.)

  11. Coordinating for Arctic Conservation: Implementing Integrated Arctic Biodiversity Monitoring, Data Management and Reporting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gill, M.; Svoboda, M.

    2012-12-01

    Arctic ecosystems and the biodiversity they support are experiencing growing pressure from various stressors (e.g. development, climate change, contaminants, etc.) while established research and monitoring programs remain largely uncoordinated, lacking the ability to effectively monitor, understand and report on biodiversity trends at the circumpolar scale. The maintenance of healthy arctic ecosystems is a global imperative as the Arctic plays a critical role in the Earth's physical, chemical and biological balance. A coordinated and comprehensive effort for monitoring arctic ecosystems is needed to facilitate effective and timely conservation and adaptation actions. The Arctic's size and complexity represents a significant challenge towards detecting and attributing important biodiversity trends. This demands a scaled, pan-arctic, ecosystem-based approach that not only identifies trends in biodiversity, but also identifies underlying causes. It is critical that this information be made available to generate effective strategies for adapting to changes now taking place in the Arctic—a process that ultimately depends on rigorous, integrated, and efficient monitoring programs that have the power to detect change within a "management" time frame. To meet these challenges and in response to the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment's recommendation to expand and enhance arctic biodiversity monitoring, the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) Working Group of the Arctic Council launched the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP). The CBMP is led by Environment Canada on behalf of Canada and the Arctic Council. The CBMP is working with over 60 global partners to expand, integrate and enhance existing arctic biodiversity research and monitoring efforts to facilitate more rapid detection, communication and response to significant trends and pressures. Towards this end, the CBMP has established three Expert Monitoring Groups representing major Arctic

  12. Arctic oil and gas 2007

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Huntington, Henry P

    2007-07-01

    The Arctic Council's assessment of oil and gas activities in the Antic is prepared in response to a request from Ministers of the eight Arctic countries. The Ministers called for engagement of all Arctic Council Working Groups in this process, and requested that the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment programme (AMAP) take responsibility for coordinating the work. This Executive Summary is in three parts. Part A presents the main findings of the assessment and related recommendations. Part B is structured in the same manner as Part A and provides additional information for those interested in examining the basis for the conclusions and recommendations that are presented in Part A. Part C presents information on 'gaps in knowledge' and recommendations aimed at filling these gaps. (AG)

  13. Flocculation alters the distribution and flux of melt-water supplied sediments and nutrients in the Arctic

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Markussen, Thor Nygaard; Andersen, Thorbjørn Joest; Ernstsen, Verner Brandbyge

    In the Arctic, thawing permafrost and increased melting of glaciers are important drivers for changes in fine-grained sediment supply and biogeochemical fluxes from land to sea. Flocculation of particles is a controlling factor for the magnitude of fluxes and deposition rates in the marine...... environment but comparatively little is known about the flocculation processes in the Arctic. We investigated flocculation dynamics from a melt-water river in the inner Disko Fjord, West Greenland. A novel, laser-illuminated camera system significantly improved the particle size measurement capabilities...... and settling tubes were sampled to enable sub-sampling of different floc size fractions. Flocculation was observed during periods with low turbulent shear and also at the front of the fresh water plume resulting in significant volumes of large sized flocs at depth below the plume. The floc sizes and volumes...

  14. Water Travel Time Distributions in Permafrost-affected Catchments: Challenges, Progress and Implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, A. A.; Piovano, T. I.; Tetzlaff, D.; Ala-aho, P. O. A.; Wookey, P. A.; Soulsby, C.

    2017-12-01

    Characterising the travel times of water has been a major research focus in catchment science over the past decade. Use of isotopes to quantify the temporal dynamics of the transformation of precipitation into runoff has revealed fundamental new insights into catchment flow paths and mixing processes that influence biogeochemical transport. However, permafrost-affected catchments have received little attention, despite their global importance in terms of rapid environmental change. Such places have limited access for data collection during critical periods (e.g. early phases of snowmelt), temporal and spatially variable freeze-thaw cycles, and the development of the active layer has a time variant influence on catchment hydrology. All of these characteristics make the application of traditional transit time estimation approaches challenging. This contribution describes an isotope-based study undertaken to provide a preliminary assessment of travel times at SikSik Creek in the Canadian Arctic. We adopted a model-data fusion approach to estimate the volumes and isotopic characteristics of snowpack and meltwater. Using sampling in the spring/summer we characterise the isotopic composition of summer rainfall, melt from residual snow, soil water and stream water. In addition, soil moisture dynamics and the temporal evolution of the active layer profile were also monitored. Transit times were estimated for soil and stream water compositions using lumped convolution integral models and temporally variable inputs including snowmelt, ice thaw, and summer rainfall. Comparing transit time estimates using a variety of inputs reveals transit time is best estimated using all available inflows (i.e. snowmelt, ice thaw, and rainfall). Early spring transit times are short, dominated by snowmelt and ice thaw and limited catchment storage when soils are predominantly frozen. However, significant and increasing mixing with water in the active layer during the summer results in more

  15. Diagnostic and model dependent uncertainty of simulated Tibetan permafrost area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, W.; Rinke, A.; Moore, J. C.; Cui, X.; Ji, D.; Li, Q.; Zhang, N.; Wang, C.; Zhang, S.; Lawrence, D. M.; McGuire, A. D.; Zhang, W.; Delire, C.; Koven, C.; Saito, K.; MacDougall, A.; Burke, E.; Decharme, B.

    2016-02-01

    We perform a land-surface model intercomparison to investigate how the simulation of permafrost area on the Tibetan Plateau (TP) varies among six modern stand-alone land-surface models (CLM4.5, CoLM, ISBA, JULES, LPJ-GUESS, UVic). We also examine the variability in simulated permafrost area and distribution introduced by five different methods of diagnosing permafrost (from modeled monthly ground temperature, mean annual ground and air temperatures, air and surface frost indexes). There is good agreement (99 to 135 × 104 km2) between the two diagnostic methods based on air temperature which are also consistent with the observation-based estimate of actual permafrost area (101 × 104 km2). However the uncertainty (1 to 128 × 104 km2) using the three methods that require simulation of ground temperature is much greater. Moreover simulated permafrost distribution on the TP is generally only fair to poor for these three methods (diagnosis of permafrost from monthly, and mean annual ground temperature, and surface frost index), while permafrost distribution using air-temperature-based methods is generally good. Model evaluation at field sites highlights specific problems in process simulations likely related to soil texture specification, vegetation types and snow cover. Models are particularly poor at simulating permafrost distribution using the definition that soil temperature remains at or below 0 °C for 24 consecutive months, which requires reliable simulation of both mean annual ground temperatures and seasonal cycle, and hence is relatively demanding. Although models can produce better permafrost maps using mean annual ground temperature and surface frost index, analysis of simulated soil temperature profiles reveals substantial biases. The current generation of land-surface models need to reduce biases in simulated soil temperature profiles before reliable contemporary permafrost maps and predictions of changes in future permafrost distribution can be made for

  16. High-Affinity Methanotrophy Informed by Genome-Wide Analysis of Upland Soil Cluster Alpha (USCα) from Axel Heiberg Island, Canadian High Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rusley, C.; Onstott, T. C.; Lau, M.

    2017-12-01

    Methane (CH4) is a potent greenhouse gas whose proper budgeting is vital to climate predictions. Recent studies have identified upland Arctic mineral cryosols as consistent CH4 sinks, drawing CH4 from both the atmosphere and underlying anaerobic soil layers. Global atmospheric CH4 uptake is proposed to be mediated by high-affinity methanotrophs based on the detection of the marker gene pmoA (particulate methane monooxygenase beta subunit). However, a lack of pure cultures and scarcity of genomic information have hindered our understanding of their metabolic capabilities and versatility. Together with the missing genetic linkage between its pmoA and 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene, the factors that control the distribution and magnitude of high-affinity methanotrophy in the Arctic permafrost-affected region have remained elusive. Using 21 metagenomic datasets of surface soils obtained from long-term core incubation experiments,1 this bioinformatics study aimed to reconstruct the draft genome of the Upland Soil Cluster α-proteobacteria (USCα), the high-affinity methanotroph previously detected in the samples,2 and to determine its phylogeny and metabolic requirements. We obtained a genome bin containing the high-affinity form of the USCα-like pmoA gene. The 3.03 Mbp assembly is 91.6% complete with a unique set of single-copy marker genes. The 16S rRNA gene fragment of USCα belongs to the α-proteobacterial family Beijerinckiaceae. Genome annotation indicates possible formaldehyde oxidation via tetrahydromethanopterin-linked C1 transfer pathways, acetate utilization, carbon fixation via the Calvin-Benson-Bassham cycle, and glycogen production. Notably, the key enzymes for formaldehyde assimilation via the serine and ribulose monophosphate pathways are missing. The presence of genes encoding nitrate reductase and hemoglobin suggests adaptation to low O2 under water-logged conditions. Since USCα has versatile carbon metabolisms, it may not be an obligate methanotroph

  17. Uav Photogrammetry for Mapping and Monitoring of Northern Permafrost Landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fraser, R. H.; Olthof, I.; Maloley, M.; Fernandes, R.; Prevost, C.; van der Sluijs, J.

    2015-08-01

    Northern environments are changing in response to recent climate warming, resource development, and natural disturbances. The Arctic climate has warmed by 2-3°C since the 1950's, causing a range of cryospheric changes including declines in sea ice extent, snow cover duration, and glacier mass, and warming permafrost. The terrestrial Arctic has also undergone significant temperature-driven changes in the form of increased thermokarst, larger tundra fires, and enhanced shrub growth. Monitoring these changes to inform land managers and decision makers is challenging due to the vast spatial extents involved and difficult access. Environmental monitoring in Canada's North is often based on local-scale measurements derived from aerial reconnaissance and photography, and ecological, hydrologic, and geologic sampling and surveying. Satellite remote sensing can provide a complementary tool for more spatially comprehensive monitoring but at coarser spatial resolutions. Satellite remote sensing has been used to map Arctic landscape changes related to vegetation productivity, lake expansion and drainage, glacier retreat, thermokarst, and wildfire activity. However, a current limitation with existing satellite-based techniques is the measurement gap between field measurements and high resolution satellite imagery. Bridging this gap is important for scaling up field measurements to landscape levels, and validating and calibrating satellite-based analyses. This gap can be filled to a certain extent using helicopter or fixed-wing aerial surveys, but at a cost that is often prohibitive. Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology has only recently progressed to the point where it can provide an inexpensive and efficient means of capturing imagery at this middle scale of measurement with detail that is adequate to interpret Arctic vegetation (i.e. 1-5 cm) and coverage that can be directly related to satellite imagery (1-10 km2). Unlike satellite measurements, UAVs permit frequent

  18. UAV PHOTOGRAMMETRY FOR MAPPING AND MONITORING OF NORTHERN PERMAFROST LANDSCAPES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. H. Fraser

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Northern environments are changing in response to recent climate warming, resource development, and natural disturbances. The Arctic climate has warmed by 2–3°C since the 1950’s, causing a range of cryospheric changes including declines in sea ice extent, snow cover duration, and glacier mass, and warming permafrost. The terrestrial Arctic has also undergone significant temperature-driven changes in the form of increased thermokarst, larger tundra fires, and enhanced shrub growth. Monitoring these changes to inform land managers and decision makers is challenging due to the vast spatial extents involved and difficult access. Environmental monitoring in Canada’s North is often based on local-scale measurements derived from aerial reconnaissance and photography, and ecological, hydrologic, and geologic sampling and surveying. Satellite remote sensing can provide a complementary tool for more spatially comprehensive monitoring but at coarser spatial resolutions. Satellite remote sensing has been used to map Arctic landscape changes related to vegetation productivity, lake expansion and drainage, glacier retreat, thermokarst, and wildfire activity. However, a current limitation with existing satellite-based techniques is the measurement gap between field measurements and high resolution satellite imagery. Bridging this gap is important for scaling up field measurements to landscape levels, and validating and calibrating satellite-based analyses. This gap can be filled to a certain extent using helicopter or fixed-wing aerial surveys, but at a cost that is often prohibitive. Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV technology has only recently progressed to the point where it can provide an inexpensive and efficient means of capturing imagery at this middle scale of measurement with detail that is adequate to interpret Arctic vegetation (i.e. 1–5 cm and coverage that can be directly related to satellite imagery (1–10 km2. Unlike satellite measurements

  19. Variability in the sensitivity among model simulations of permafrost and carbon dynamics in the permafrost region between 1960 and 2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGuire, A. David; Koven, Charles; Lawrence, David M.; Clein, Joy S.; Xia, Jiangyang; Beer, Christian; Burke, Eleanor J.; Chen, Guangsheng; Chen, Xiaodong; Delire, Christine; Jafarov, Elchin; MacDougall, Andrew H.; Marchenko, Sergey S.; Nicolsky, Dmitry J.; Peng, Shushi; Rinke, Annette; Saito, Kazuyuki; Zhang, Wenxin; Alkama, Ramdane; Bohn, Theodore J.; Ciais, Philippe; Decharme, Bertrand; Ekici, Altug; Gouttevin, Isabelle; Hajima, Tomohiro; Hayes, Daniel J.; Ji, Duoying; Krinner, Gerhard; Lettenmaier, Dennis P.; Luo, Yiqi; Miller, Paul A.; Moore, John C.; Romanovsky, Vladimir; Schädel, Christina; Schaefer, Kevin; Schuur, Edward A.G.; Smith, Benjamin; Sueyoshi, Tetsuo; Zhuang, Qianlai

    2016-01-01

    A significant portion of the large amount of carbon (C) currently stored in soils of the permafrost region in the Northern Hemisphere has the potential to be emitted as the greenhouse gases CO2and CH4 under a warmer climate. In this study we evaluated the variability in the sensitivity of permafrost and C in recent decades among land surface model simulations over the permafrost region between 1960 and 2009. The 15 model simulations all predict a loss of near-surface permafrost (within 3 m) area over the region, but there are large differences in the magnitude of the simulated rates of loss among the models (0.2 to 58.8 × 103 km2 yr−1). Sensitivity simulations indicated that changes in air temperature largely explained changes in permafrost area, although interactions among changes in other environmental variables also played a role. All of the models indicate that both vegetation and soil C storage together have increased by 156 to 954 Tg C yr−1between 1960 and 2009 over the permafrost region even though model analyses indicate that warming alone would decrease soil C storage. Increases in gross primary production (GPP) largely explain the simulated increases in vegetation and soil C. The sensitivity of GPP to increases in atmospheric CO2 was the dominant cause of increases in GPP across the models, but comparison of simulated GPP trends across the 1982–2009 period with that of a global GPP data set indicates that all of the models overestimate the trend in GPP. Disturbance also appears to be an important factor affecting C storage, as models that consider disturbance had lower increases in C storage than models that did not consider disturbance. To improve the modeling of C in the permafrost region, there is the need for the modeling community to standardize structural representation of permafrost and carbon dynamics among models that are used to evaluate the permafrost C feedback and for the modeling and observational communities to

  20. History of sea ice in the Arctic

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Polyak, Leonid; Alley, Richard B.; Andrews, John T.

    2010-01-01

    Arctic sea-ice extent and volume are declining rapidly. Several studies project that the Arctic Ocean may become seasonally ice-free by the year 2040 or even earlier. Putting this into perspective requires information on the history of Arctic sea-ice conditions through the geologic past. This inf......Arctic sea-ice extent and volume are declining rapidly. Several studies project that the Arctic Ocean may become seasonally ice-free by the year 2040 or even earlier. Putting this into perspective requires information on the history of Arctic sea-ice conditions through the geologic past...... Optimum, and consistently covered at least part of the Arctic Ocean for no less than the last 13–14 million years. Ice was apparently most widespread during the last 2–3 million years, in accordance with Earth’s overall cooler climate. Nevertheless, episodes of considerably reduced sea ice or even...

  1. Arctic transitions in the Land - Atmosphere System (ATLAS): Background, objectives, results, and future directions

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGuire, A.D.; Sturm, M.; Chapin, F. S.

    2003-01-01

    This paper briefly reviews the background, objectives, and results of the Arctic Transitions in the Land-Atmosphere System (ATLAS) Project to date and provides thoughts on future directions. The key goal of the ATLAS Project is to improve understanding of controls over spatial and temporal variability of terrestrial processes in the Arctic that have potential consequences for the climate system, i.e., processes that affect the exchange of water and energy with the atmosphere, the exchange of radiatively active gases with the atmosphere, and the delivery of freshwater to the Arctic Ocean. Three important conclusions have emerged from research associated with the ATLAS Project. First, associated with the observation that the Alaskan Arctic has warmed significantly in the last 30 years, permafrost is warming, shrubs are expanding, and there has been a temporary release of carbon dioxide from tundra soils. Second, the winter is a more important period of biological activity than previously appreciated. Biotic processes, including shrub expansion and decomposition, affect snow structure and accumulation and affect the annual carbon budget of tundra ecosystems. Third, observed vegetation changes can have a significant positive feedback to regional warming. These vegetation effects are, however, less strong than those exerted by land-ocean heating contrasts and the topographic constraints on air mass movements. The papers of this special section provide additional insights related to these conclusions and to the overall goal of ATLAS.

  2. Post-fire Thermokarst Development Along a Planned Road Corridor in Arctic Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, B. M.; Grosse, G.; Larsen, C. F.; Hayes, D. J.; Arp, C. D.; Liu, L.; Miller, E.

    2015-12-01

    Wildfire disturbance in northern high latitude regions is an important factor contributing to ecosystem and landscape change. In permafrost influenced terrain, fire may initiate thermokarst development which impacts hydrology, vegetation, wildlife, carbon storage and infrastructure. In this study we differenced two airborne LiDAR datasets that were acquired in the aftermath of the large and severe Anaktuvuk River tundra fire, which in 2007 burned across a proposed road corridor in Arctic Alaska. The 2009 LiDAR dataset was acquired by the Alaska Department of Transportation in preparation for construction of a gravel road that would connect the Dalton Highway with the logistical camp of Umiat. The 2014 LiDAR dataset was acquired by the USGS to quantify potential post-fire thermokarst development over the first seven years following the tundra fire event. By differencing the two 1 m resolution digital terrain models, we measured permafrost thaw subsidence across 34% of the burned tundra area studied, and observed less than 1% in similar, undisturbed tundra terrain units. Ice-rich, yedoma upland terrain was most susceptible to thermokarst development following the disturbance, accounting for 50% of the areal and volumetric change detected, with some locations subsiding more than six meters over the study period. Calculation of rugosity, or surface roughness, in the two datasets showed a doubling in microtopography on average across the burned portion of the study area, with a 340% increase in yedoma upland terrain. An additional LiDAR dataset was acquired in April 2015 to document the role of thermokarst development on enhanced snow accumulation and subsequent snowmelt runoff within the burn area. Our findings will enable future vulnerability assessments of ice-rich permafrost terrain as a result of shifting disturbance regimes. Such assessments are needed to address questions focused on the impact of permafrost degradation on physical, ecological, and socio

  3. Confocal Raman microspectroscopy reveals a convergence of the chemical composition in methanogenic archaea from a Siberian permafrost-affected soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serrano, Paloma; Hermelink, Antje; Lasch, Peter; de Vera, Jean-Pierre; König, Nicole; Burckhardt, Oliver; Wagner, Dirk

    2015-12-01

    Methanogenic archaea are widespread anaerobic microorganisms responsible for the production of biogenic methane. Several new species of psychrotolerant methanogenic archaea were recently isolated from a permafrost-affected soil in the Lena Delta (Siberia, Russia), showing an exceptional resistance against desiccation, osmotic stress, low temperatures, starvation, UV and ionizing radiation when compared to methanogens from non-permafrost environments. To gain a deeper insight into the differences observed in their resistance, we described the chemical composition of methanogenic strains from permafrost and non-permafrost environments using confocal Raman microspectroscopy (CRM). CRM is a powerful tool for microbial identification and provides fingerprint-like information about the chemical composition of the cells. Our results show that the chemical composition of methanogens from permafrost-affected soils presents a high homology and is remarkably different from strains inhabiting non-permafrost environments. In addition, we performed a phylogenetic reconstruction of the studied strains based on the functional gene mcrA to prove the different evolutionary relationship of the permafrost strains. We conclude that the permafrost methanogenic strains show a convergent chemical composition regardless of their genotype. This fact is likely to be the consequence of a complex adaptive process to the Siberian permafrost environment and might be the reason underlying their resistant nature. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  4. Methane isotopic signature of gas bubbles in permafrost winter lake ice: a tool for quantifying variable oxidation levels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sapart, C. J.; Boereboom, T.; Roeckmann, T.; Tison, J.-L.

    2012-04-01

    Methane (CH4) is a strong greenhouse gas and its atmospheric mixing ratio has strongly increased since pre-industrial times. This increase was primarily due to emissions from anthropogenic sources, but there is growing concern about possible feedbacks of natural sources in a changing climate. Thawing of permafrost areas in the Arctic is considered as an important feedback, since the Arctic region undergoes the fastest climate change and hosts large carbon stocks. Subarctic lakes are considered as "hotspots" for CH4 emissions, but the role of the ice cover during the winter period is not well understood to date. Here, we present measurements of CH4 mixing ratio and δ13C-CH4 in 4 types of bubbles identified in subarctic lake ice covers located in a sporadic or discontinuous permafrost area. Our analysis reveals that different bubble types contain CH4 with different, specific isotopic signatures. The evolution of mixing ratio and δ13C-CH4 suggest that oxidation of dissolved CH4 is the most important process determining the isotopic composition of CH4 in bubbles. This results from gas exsolution occurring during the ice growth process. A first estimate of the CH4 oxidation budget (mean = 0.12 mg CH4 m-2 d-1) enables to quantify the impact of the ice cover on CH4 emissions from subartic lakes. The increased exchange time between gases coming from the sediments and the water column, due to the capping effect of the lake ice cover, reduces the amount of CH4 released "as is" and favours its oxidation into carbon dioxide; the latter being further added to the HCO3- pool through the carbonate equilibration reactions.

  5. Evidence for nonuniform permafrost degradation after fire in boreal landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minsley, Burke J.; Pastick, Neal J.; Wylie, Bruce K.; Brown, Dana R.N.; Kass, M. Andy

    2016-01-01

    Fire can be a significant driver of permafrost change in boreal landscapes, altering the availability of soil carbon and nutrients that have important implications for future climate and ecological succession. However, not all landscapes are equally susceptible to fire-induced change. As fire frequency is expected to increase in the high latitudes, methods to understand the vulnerability and resilience of different landscapes to permafrost degradation are needed. We present a combination of multiscale remote sensing, geophysical, and field observations that reveal details of both near-surface (1 m) impacts of fire on permafrost. Along 11 transects that span burned-unburned boundaries in different landscape settings within interior Alaska, subsurface electrical resistivity and nuclear magnetic resonance data indicate locations where permafrost appears to be resilient to disturbance from fire, areas where warm permafrost conditions exist that may be most vulnerable to future change, and also areas where permafrost has thawed. High-resolution geophysical data corroborate remote sensing interpretations of near-surface permafrost and also add new high-fidelity details of spatial heterogeneity that extend from the shallow subsurface to depths of about 10 m. Results show that postfire impacts on permafrost can be variable and depend on multiple factors such as fire severity, soil texture, soil moisture, and time since fire.

  6. Arctic oil and gas 2007

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Huntington, Henry P.

    2007-07-01

    The Arctic Council's assessment of oil and gas activities in the Antic is prepared in response to a request from Ministers of the eight Arctic countries. The Ministers called for engagement of all Arctic Council Working Groups in this process, and requested that the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment programme (AMAP) take responsibility for coordinating the work. This Executive Summary is in three parts. Part A presents the main findings of the assessment and related recommendations. Part B is structured in the same manner as Part A and provides additional information for those interested in examining the basis for the conclusions and recommendations that are presented in Part A. Part C presents information on 'gaps in knowledge' and recommendations aimed at filling these gaps. (AG)

  7. Tundra landform and vegetation productivity trend maps for the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lara, Mark J.; Nitze, Ingmar; Grosse, Guido; McGuire, A. David

    2018-01-01

    Arctic tundra landscapes are composed of a complex mosaic of patterned ground features, varying in soil moisture, vegetation composition, and surface hydrology over small spatial scales (10–100 m). The importance of microtopography and associated geomorphic landforms in influencing ecosystem structure and function is well founded, however, spatial data products describing local to regional scale distribution of patterned ground or polygonal tundra geomorphology are largely unavailable. Thus, our understanding of local impacts on regional scale processes (e.g., carbon dynamics) may be limited. We produced two key spatiotemporal datasets spanning the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska (~60,000 km2) to evaluate climate-geomorphological controls on arctic tundra productivity change, using (1) a novel 30 m classification of polygonal tundra geomorphology and (2) decadal-trends in surface greenness using the Landsat archive (1999–2014). These datasets can be easily integrated and adapted in an array of local to regional applications such as (1) upscaling plot-level measurements (e.g., carbon/energy fluxes), (2) mapping of soils, vegetation, or permafrost, and/or (3) initializing ecosystem biogeochemistry, hydrology, and/or habitat modeling.

  8. Diagnostic and model dependent uncertainty of simulated Tibetan permafrost area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, A.; Moore, J.C.; Cui, Xingquan; Ji, D.; Li, Q.; Zhang, N.; Wang, C.; Zhang, S.; Lawrence, D.M.; McGuire, A.D.; Zhang, W.; Delire, C.; Koven, C.; Saito, K.; MacDougall, A.; Burke, E.; Decharme, B.

    2016-01-01

     We perform a land-surface model intercomparison to investigate how the simulation of permafrost area on the Tibetan Plateau (TP) varies among six modern stand-alone land-surface models (CLM4.5, CoLM, ISBA, JULES, LPJ-GUESS, UVic). We also examine the variability in simulated permafrost area and distribution introduced by five different methods of diagnosing permafrost (from modeled monthly ground temperature, mean annual ground and air temperatures, air and surface frost indexes). There is good agreement (99 to 135  ×  104 km2) between the two diagnostic methods based on air temperature which are also consistent with the observation-based estimate of actual permafrost area (101  × 104 km2). However the uncertainty (1 to 128  ×  104 km2) using the three methods that require simulation of ground temperature is much greater. Moreover simulated permafrost distribution on the TP is generally only fair to poor for these three methods (diagnosis of permafrost from monthly, and mean annual ground temperature, and surface frost index), while permafrost distribution using air-temperature-based methods is generally good. Model evaluation at field sites highlights specific problems in process simulations likely related to soil texture specification, vegetation types and snow cover. Models are particularly poor at simulating permafrost distribution using the definition that soil temperature remains at or below 0 °C for 24 consecutive months, which requires reliable simulation of both mean annual ground temperatures and seasonal cycle, and hence is relatively demanding. Although models can produce better permafrost maps using mean annual ground temperature and surface frost index, analysis of simulated soil temperature profiles reveals substantial biases. The current generation of land-surface models need to reduce biases in simulated soil temperature profiles before reliable contemporary permafrost maps and predictions of changes in future

  9. Future scientific drilling in the Arctic Ocean: Key objectives, areas, and strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, R.; Coakley, B.; Mikkelsen, N.; O'Regan, M.; Ruppel, C.

    2012-04-01

    Past, Present and Future Changes in Arctic Terrestrial and Marine Systems" (Kananaskis, Alberta/Canada, February 2012). During these workshops, key areas and key scientific themes as well as drilling and site-survey strategies were discussed. Major scientific themes for future Arctic drilling will include: - The Arctic Ocean during the transition from greenhouse to icehouse conditions and millennial scale climate changes; - Physical and chemical changes of the evolving Polar Ocean and Arctic gateways; - Impact of Pleistocene/Holocene warming and sea-level rise on upper continental slope and shelf gas hydrates and on shelf permafrost; - Land-ocean interactions; - Tectonic evolution and birth of the Arctic Ocean basin: Arctic ridges, sea floor spreading and global lithosphere processes. When thinking about future Arctic drilling, it should be clearly emphasized that for the precise planning of future Arctic Ocean drilling campaigns, including site selection, evaluation of proposed drill sites for safety and environmental protection, etc., comprehensive site survey data are needed first. This means that the development of a detailed site survey strategy is a major challenge for the coming years. Here, an overview of perspectives and plans for future Arctic Ocean drilling will be presented.

  10. Computing a ground appropriateness index for route selection in permafrost regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chi Zhang

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The reasonable calculation of ground appropriateness index in permafrost region is the precondition of highway route design in permafrost region. The theory of knowledge base and fuzzy mathematics are applied, and the damage effect of permafrost is considered in the paper. Based on the idea of protecting permafrost the calculation method of ground appropriateness index is put forward. Firstly, based on the actual environment conditions, the paper determines the factors affecting the road layout in permafrost areas by qualitative and quantitative analysis, including the annual slope, the average annual ground temperature of permafrost, the amount of ice in frozen soil, and the interference engineering. Secondly, based on the knowledge base theory and the use of Delphi method, the paper establishes the knowledge base, the rule base of the permafrost region and inference mechanism. The method of selecting the road in permafrost region is completed and realized by using the software platform. Thirdly, taking the Tuotuo River to Kaixin Mountain section of permafrost region as an example, the application of the method is studied by using an ArcGIS platform. Results show that the route plan determined by the method of selecting the road in permafrost region can avoid the high temperature and high ice content area, conform the terrain changes and evade the heat disturbance among the existing projects. A reasonable route plan can be achieved, and it can provide the basis for the next engineering construction.

  11. Contrasting above- and belowground organic matter decomposition and carbon and nitrogen dynamics in response to warming in High Arctic tundra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blok, Daan; Faucherre, Samuel; Banyasz, Imre; Rinnan, Riikka; Michelsen, Anders; Elberling, Bo

    2017-12-13

    Tundra regions are projected to warm rapidly during the coming decades. The tundra biome holds the largest terrestrial carbon pool, largely contained in frozen permafrost soils. With warming, these permafrost soils may thaw and become available for microbial decomposition, potentially providing a positive feedback to global warming. Warming may directly stimulate microbial metabolism but may also indirectly stimulate organic matter turnover through increased plant productivity by soil priming from root exudates and accelerated litter turnover rates. Here, we assess the impacts of experimental warming on turnover rates of leaf litter, active layer soil and thawed permafrost sediment in two high-arctic tundra heath sites in NE-Greenland, either dominated by evergreen or deciduous shrubs. We incubated shrub leaf litter on the surface of control and warmed plots for 1 and 2 years. Active layer soil was collected from the plots to assess the effects of 8 years of field warming on soil carbon stocks. Finally, we incubated open cores filled with newly thawed permafrost soil for 2 years in the active layer of the same plots. After field incubation, we measured basal respiration rates of recovered thawed permafrost cores in the lab. Warming significantly reduced litter mass loss by 26% after 1 year incubation, but differences in litter mass loss among treatments disappeared after 2 years incubation. Warming also reduced litter nitrogen mineralization and decreased the litter carbon to nitrogen ratio. Active layer soil carbon stocks were reduced 15% by warming, while soil dissolved nitrogen was reduced by half in warmed plots. Warming had a positive legacy effect on carbon turnover rates in thawed permafrost cores, with 10% higher respiration rates measured in cores from warmed plots. These results demonstrate that warming may have contrasting effects on above- and belowground tundra carbon turnover, possibly governed by microbial resource availability. © 2017 John

  12. Impact of physical permafrost processes on hydrological change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagemann, Stefan; Blome, Tanja; Beer, Christian; Ekici, Altug

    2015-04-01

    Permafrost or perennially frozen ground is an important part of the terrestrial cryosphere; roughly one quarter of Earth's land surface is underlain by permafrost. As it is a thermal phenomenon, its characteristics are highly dependent on climatic factors. The impact of the currently observed warming, which is projected to persist during the coming decades due to anthropogenic CO2 input, certainly has effects for the vast permafrost areas of the high northern latitudes. The quantification of these effects, however, is scientifically still an open question. This is partly due to the complexity of the system, where several feedbacks are interacting between land and atmosphere, sometimes counterbalancing each other. Moreover, until recently, many global circulation models (GCMs) and Earth system models (ESMs) lacked the sufficient representation of permafrost physics in their land surface schemes. Within the European Union FP7 project PAGE21, the land surface scheme JSBACH of the Max-Planck-Institute for Meteorology ESM (MPI-ESM) has been equipped with the representation of relevant physical processes for permafrost studies. These processes include the effects of freezing and thawing of so