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AG:Patchy field sampling biases understanding of climate change impacts across the Arctic


Arctic climate change research relies on field measurements and samples that are too scarce, and patchy at best. The researchers in the BECC action group looked at thousands of scientific studies, and found that around 30% of cited studies were clustered around only two research stations in the vast Arctic region. A paper in Nature Ecology & Evoloution was one of the result from the action group "Identifying gaps and priorities in Arctic environmental research".

The Arctic is said to be warming at a rate of almost twice the global average, and the changes associated with climate change in the area include rising sea levels due to melting ice sheets, negative impacts on the livelihood of local communities, the disruption of ecosystems, and a potential effect on global climate patterns.

Another major concern is that the parts of the Arctic ground and soil that are frozen, known as permafrost, store huge amounts of carbon. The thawing of permafrost could therefore trigger a significant release of greenhouse gases that could further accelerate climate change.

"Our study shows that we only have a patchy understanding of the full geographic range of soil carbon storage capacity across the Arctic. This means that we could make mistakes in projecting how much soil carbon is actually stored - and what will happen to this carbon store under climate change", explains Dr Dan Metcalfe who led the study.

You may find more information in English or in Swedish as well as here

and of course the article Patchy field sampling biases understanding of climate change impacts across the Arctic

and a contributer perception


Dan Metcalfe
dan [dot] metcalfe [at] nateko [dot] lu [dot] se