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Virtual: ‘Influence of Climate-Driven Changes to Ice Dynamics on Carbon Budgets on Arctic Continental Shelves’
March 29, 2021 at 12:20 pm - 2:00 pm
Join the UNC-Chapel Hill Department of Marine Sciences for an interdisciplinary seminar of graduate student, John Malito. This event will be held on March 29 at 12:20 p.m. The Zoom meeting ID is 910 3393 5080.
Arctic shelf environments are arguably the most important sink of atmospheric carbon dioxide in the global carbon cycle. Over 50% of the global subterranean organic carbon pool is stored in permafrost sediments at long timescales. The rapidly warming Arctic climate can lead to this carbon re-entering the environment and accelerate its transport to Arctic shelves. The fate of this permafrost-sourced carbon remains poorly understood. Increased precipitation and meltwater discharge of Arctic rivers is presently increasing the transport of terrestrial carbon to the ocean. Permafrost-rich coastlines across the Arctic are subject to rapid rates of erosion through an increasing wave climate, duration of exposure to open water, and sea-level rise, delivering carbon directly to the coastal ocean. This permafrost-sourced carbon has been observed to be highly biolabile in riverine and coastal environments, efficiently releasing CO2 via decomposition. However, declining sea ice coverage is expected to increase primary productivity in the Arctic due to increased light availability and air-sea gas exchange. The cumulative effects of the increased flux of permafrost-sourced carbon to Arctic shelves can potentially shift the balance of the global carbon budget.