Bo Elberling

The Arctic carbon budget: links to thawing permafrost and plant growth

Professor at University of Copenhagen

Bo Elberling
14/04 2021
12:15-13:15, on Zoom: https://syddanskuni.zoom.us/j/61166875587
Guest Lecture
Thawing permafrost results in greenhouse gases being released to the atmosphere but plants can offset this carbon loss partly by growing more in a warmer climate. However, plant-nutrients as nitrogen are a prerequisite for plants to grow. New research from the Center for Permafrost (CENPERM) shows how plant growth in the Arctic can be linked to thawing permafrost: Permafrost contains plant-available nitrogen which can become available upon thawing, plant roots can grow deeper in responds to warming, and finally isotopic-labelled nitrogen at the permafrost table have been incorporated in growing plants. This shows that plant growth via photosynthesis can partly offset a carbon loss associated with permafrost thaw.
In this lecture, Bo Elberling, professor and centre leader at CENPERM at Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management (University of Copenhagen) will talk about the sleeping permafrost and why water is a critical factor as Arctic warms. The starting point for the lecture is new knowledge primarily from Greenland in connection with the research center CENPERM established in 2012 with a 10-year grant from the Danish National Research Foundation.
About Bo Elberling
Bo Elberling is a geologist by training and have worked as a soil scientist since 1995 with a focus on geochemical and biological processes in soils across the globe. He is fascinated by the diversity of nature and the opportunities it gives to people. He has a special fondness of several places around the globe; including tropical agriculture systems in Africa and Central America, natural wetlands in Denmark, extreme soils in the Pantanal (Brazil), Antarctica and Russia. Greenland is currently his main focus area. At present he leads a centre of excellence (Center for Permafrost), that focuses on how soil, plants and microorganisms as an integrated arctic ecosystem are affected by climate fluctuations.

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Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this lecture will be held online.