Overview: The Arctic-boreal zone covers ~ 20% of Earth’s land surface and is characterized by cold temperatures, snow-covered winters, and permafrost. This region is extremely important because it holds over 50% of the global soil organic carbon pool; more carbon than is currently in the atmosphere. The permafrost region is now warming four times faster than elsewhere on the planet. As a result, organic carbon in soils that were historically cold protected is becoming vulnerable to decomposition and release as greenhouse gases. Here I present recent efforts to understand and quantify CO2 emissions from permafrost-impacted soils, combining new strategies for year-round flux monitoring, and efforts to understand how subsurface ground characteristics and disturbance are impacting the magnitudes and age of carbon loss.
The Earth Science Colloquium Series, sponsored by Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Columbia University Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences (DEES), provides a lively forum for discussing a wide variety of topics within the Earth sciences and related fields. Colloquia are attended by the full range of scientific and technical staff at LDEO. Colloquium attendance is required of all pre-orals DEES graduate students. The Colloquium Series supports the Lamont Seminar Diversity Initiative.