Organic carbon – how much is stored in ice-rich permafrost?

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Rapid changes are observed in the Polar Regions. With ongoing climate change, the Arctic will continue to warm approximately twice as fast as the lower latitudes. Vast areas of the Arctic are affected by permafrost where degradation processes such as thermokarst and thermal erosion are expected to increase considerably. Large areas in Alaska and Siberia are covered by ice-rich permafrost, such as yedoma permafrost. These deposits reach a thickness up to 50 m and include large ice-wedges. Thus, warming can trigger deep thaw processes which can mobilize organic carbon well below 1 m soil depth. Consequently, permafrost carbon storage is becoming increasingly vulnerable with ongoing permafrost thaw. Undisturbed yedoma deposits are characterized by relatively high quality organic carbon stored and are presumably highly susceptible for future degradation. We aim to identify the quantity and quality of the organic matter, in order to improve the estimates of the rate and amount of organic carbon that can be released from permafrost thaw with warming.

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Conference (Talk)
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YES Congress 2019, 09 Sep 2019 - 13 Sep 2019, Freie Universität Berlin.
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Jongejans, L. L. , Strauss, J. , Mangelsdorf, K. , Lenz, J. and Grosse, G. (2019): Organic carbon – how much is stored in ice-rich permafrost? , YES Congress 2019, Freie Universität Berlin, 9 September 2019 - 13 September 2019 .

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