Changes in Greenland landscape affect carbon balance sheet

Oct 01, 2013 by Miles O'brien
Changes in Greenland landscape affect carbon balance sheet
Credit: Science Nation, National Science Foundation

Warming temperatures in the Arctic are changing the tundra from a landscape dominated by grasses to one increasingly dominated by woody shrubs. In addition to affecting the habitat of local wildlife such as caribou and musk oxen, these changes are also altering the carbon exchange between the plants and the atmosphere.

A better understanding of these changes and interactions may help to refine scientific predictions of how the Arctic will respond to future climate change.

This project comprises a four-year, passive experiment of low-Arctic tundra vegetation at a long-term study site in Greenland, whose primary aim is to measure the response of plant roots to warming and the role of this response in ecosystem exchange.

Phenology, the study of the annual timing and progression of events such as above-ground plant growth, is an important component of the ecology of climate change and has been widely studied, but below-ground ecology remains largely unexplored.

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Credit: NSF

This study will estimate and compare above- and below-ground responses of plant phenology to warming and their respective contributions to ecosystem function, specifically the exchange of carbon between the atmosphere and . The study also hopes to determine which plant types— shrubs or grasses—show a greater below-ground response to warming and contribution to ecosystem carbon exchange.

Explore further: Alaska tundra shows surprising resilience after unprecedented fire

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1.6 / 5 (14) Oct 01, 2013
Changes in Greenland landscape affect carbon balance sheet

Have dairy farms returned to Greenland?

No, the climate is still too cold.

Waiting on dairy farms.
3.7 / 5 (6) Oct 02, 2013
Dairy farms in Greenland!! Get real, the Viking colony tried to farm a microscopic fraction if the southern coast and failed even then. They had to use raised fields to try and protect stock from the the freezing soil....
2.8 / 5 (4) Oct 02, 2013
"Have dairy farms returned to Greenland? " - ShooTard

How could they return when they never existed in the first place?

You have been told this a half dozen times.

Why do you persist in lying?