Permafrost Carbon Network: October 2015 Update

-Contributed by the Permafrost Carbon Network (PCN)
-PCN is a CliC co-sponsored activity

permafrost carbon networkA few news items from the Permafrost Carbon Network….

1) A simplified, data-constrained approach to estimate the permafrost carbon-climate feedback. This newly published article was led by Charlie Koven and is based on collective efforts and syntheses of many members of the Permafrost Carbon Network. The article is online available at Philosophical Transactions A.

Media summary: Permafrost is expected to lose carbon to the atmosphere in response to global warming, as increased soil temperatures lead to faster decomposition of old organic matter that is currently frozen in the ground.  We construct a model of permafrost soil carbon losses using multiple estimates of permafrost thermal dynamics, soil C stocks, and the response of permafrost soil carbon to experimental warming. Our results show that the magnitude of the feedback from thawing permafrost is a substantial fraction of the total global amount, and will play an important role in determining the amount of warming that accompanies fossil fuel release.

Koven CD, Schuur EAG, Schädel C, Bohn TJ, Burke EJ, Chen G, Chen X, Ciais P, Grosse G, Harden JW, Hayes DJ, Hugelius G, Jafarov EE, Krinner G, Kuhry P, Lawrence DM, Macdougall AH, Marchenko SS, Mcguire AD, Natali SM, Nicolsky DJ, Olefeldt D, Peng S, Romanovsky VE, Schaefer KM, Strauss J, Treat CC, Turetsky M (2015) A simplified, data-constrained approach to estimate the permafrost carbon–climate feedback. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 373, DOI: 10.1098/rsta.2014.0423

2) 2015 Arctic Observing Open Science Meeting, Nov 17-19, Seattle, WA: The meeting will focus on sharing science results, with a key goal to stimulate cross-project and cross-program investigator-driven collaboration that leads to high impact science products. The core of the meeting will be parallel science sessions that will include both talks and discussion period. The parallel session discussions will engage participants in sharing science results, developing concepts for new cross-program observation campaigns, new uses for existing data, and new observing technologies and new synthesis products,  including benchmark data sets and scientific papers. This is a great opportunity for individual scientists to interact with the broader interdisciplinary Arctic observing community. We also welcome modelers; you are well positioned to identify concepts for multi-scale benchmark data sets to inform models and their evaluation.

More information, including registration and abstract submission is available here.

3) AGU Session: Vulnerability of Permafrost Carbon to Climate Change.
Poster session will take place Wednesday, December 16, 8:00 am – 12.20 pm, Moscone South, Poster Hall
Oral Sessions will take place Thursday, December 17, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm, Moscone West, 2004
Special Session including a panel discussion will take place Thursday, December 17, 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm, Moscone West, 2004

4) The 5th Annual Meeting of the Permafrost Carbon Network takes place Sunday, December 13th, 2015(9:00 am – 4:30 pm) before AGU at the InterContinental in San Francisco (888 Howard Street).

In the morning, we will provide an update on previous and ongoing Permafrost Carbon Network activities and we will have short presentations by synthesis leads/co-leads about topics being discussed in breakout discussions in the afternoon. The detailed agenda is available on the PCN website.

This year, we are inviting everyone interested in Permafrost Carbon Network activities to attend the morning presentations, whereas the afternoon breakout discussions are optional and specifically for those that would like to be involved and actively contribute to a specific synthesis product. We encourage you to sign-up for one of the breakout discussions in the afternoon if you have data to contribute or want to contribute in another way to a synthesis product. Also attached to this email are short descriptions of the possible breakout topics.

It is important that everyone who plans to attend our meeting signs up for it by November 3rd, even if you have told us before that you are participating, please sign up.

You have the option to sign up for:
1) Morning presentations (9:00 am – 12:00 pm)
2) Lunch at InterContinental, provided by IASC and PCN (12:00-1:00pm)
3) Afternoon Breakout discussions (1:00-4:30 pm)
4) Choose your individual breakout discussion (1:00 – 3:30 pm)

The sign up form is available here.

For questions please contact Christina Schädel or Ted Schuur .

5) More recent publications:
Abbott BW, Jones JB (2015) Permafrost collapse alters soil carbon stocks, respiration, CH4, and N2O in upland tundra. Global Change Biology,

Hope C, Schaefer K (2015) Economic impacts of carbon dioxide and methane released from thawing permafrost. Nature Clim. Change, doi:10.1038/nclimate2807

Lawrence DM, Koven CD, Swenson SC, Riley WJ, Slater AG (2015) Permafrost thaw and resulting soil moisture changes regulate projected high-latitude CO2 and CH4 emissions. Environmental Research Letters, 10, 094011.