Planning the Next Generation of Arctic Ecosystem Experiments

Authors


Abstract

[1] Climate Change Experiments in High-Latitude Ecosystems; Fairbanks, Alaska, 13–14 October 2010; A 2-day climate change workshop was held at the International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks. The workshop, sponsored by Biological and Environmental Research, Office of Science, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), was attended by 45 subject matter experts from universities, DOE national laboratories, and other federal and nongovernmental organizations. The workshop sought to engage the Arctic science community in planning for a proposed Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE-Arctic) project in Alaska (http://ngee.ornl.gov/). The goal of this activity is to provide data, theory, and models to improve representations of high-latitude terrestrial processes in Earth system models. In particular, there is a need to better understand the processes by which warming may drive increased plant productivity and atmospheric carbon uptake and storage in biomass and soils, as well as those processes that may drive an increase in the release of methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) through microbial decomposition of soil carbon stored in thawing permafrost. This understanding is required to quantify the important feedback mechanisms that define the role of terrestrial processes in regional and global climate.