The exchanges of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) between arctic ecosystems and the atmosphere are sizeable and may if they change may alter the further development of climate warming. These fluxes take place between the atmospheric background of these trace gases and a very large reservoir of organic carbon stored in arctic soils and sediments. The stored carbon amounts to more than twice the current global atmospheric burden of CO2. Therefore, accurate measurements of the fluxes and how they vary temporally and spatially is key to understanding possible ecosystem impacts on the atmospheric mixing ratios and hence climate.
This presentation will detail the current state of the global CO2 and CH4 budget and review methods applied in quantifying the arctic trace gas flux components. The presentation will show new developments in the attempts to use UAV's to help improve spatial coverage of measured fluxes. The challenges in applying the laser techniques needed for the precise and fast trace gas measurements under true arctic conditions will be discussed.
Bio: Torben Røjle Christensen is Professor of Arctic Biogeochemistry at the Arctic Research Centre, Aarhus University, Denmark. His research is on ecosystem-atmosphere interactions with particular attention to ecosystems responses to climate variability and change in Arctic environments. Within this area he has been active in field research over the past 30 years in a wide range of northern environments including Alaska, Siberia, northern Scandinavia, Svalbard and not the least Greenland. He is currently the Scientific Leader of the Greenland Ecosystem Monitoring Program and also Director of the Zackenberg Research Station in NE Greenland.