Going Underground: Carbon Emissions From Our Changing Arctic Soils
In this episode, we're heading out into the Arctic tundra. Here researchers are investigating the increasing release of stored carbon from Arctic soils into the atmosphere. In an Arctic tundra ecosystem, peat and permafrost store more carbon than trees and vegetation.
With climate change, permafrost is melting and trees are growing faster and further into the carbon-heavy peat regions in the tundra. As trees drop leaves and add organic matter to the soil, the soil composition changes from peat to thinner mineral soils without as much carbon. The team are quantifying the rates of carbon released into the atmosphere from the decomposition of these carbon-heavy soil types, to help global models better understand how an increasingly warming arctic will contribute to increasing natural carbon emissions.
Thanks to Tom Parker, Jens-Arne Subke and Phil Wookey from the University of Stirling, and Lorna Street from the University of Edinburgh for sharing their research in this episode.
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Based at the Abisko Scientific Research Station, this podcast takes you into the field with scientists as they investigate climate change in an Arctic environment.
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Produced in partnership with the Climate Impacts Research Centre, Umea University.
Vector graphic: Freepik
Music: Mark Skinner