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BG1.7/CL4.28

Permafrost carbon (CO2, CH4) and non-carbon (N2O) feedbacks to climate change (co-organized)
Convener: Christina Biasi  | Co-Conveners: Torben R. Christensen , Maija Marushchak , Christina Schädel 
Northern ecosystems store more than twice as much carbon in their soils than is currently in the atmosphere, and are warming at a rate twice as fast as the rest of the planet. Large parts of these stocks are currently locked from microbial activities in permanently frozen ground. Due to concerns about a possible release of these carbon stocks to the atmosphere in a warmer world, the dynamics of the greenhouse gases CO2, and recently also CH4, have been subject of comprehensive laboratory and field studies. However, there is increasing evidence that also non-carbon emissions such as nitrous oxide (N2O), a very potent greenhouse gas, occur from permafrost soils, with the potential of accelerating the positive feedback loop to climate change from Arctic ecosystems. Emission patterns and magnitude of N2O are much less studied from Arctic ecosystems, and detailed process knowledge remains sparse. Here we seek contributions that particularly address N2O dynamics from Arctic ecosystems, aiming at understanding the dynamics and estimating the potential importance in climate feedbacks compared to CO2 and CH4. This includes studies which aim at providing a full greenhouse gas balances of Arctic sites including all three greenhouse gases CO2, CH4 and N2O, as well as process studies aiming at mechanistic understanding of nitrogen dynamics in permafrost soils. Since soil nitrogen and carbon cycle are closely interlinked we invite also studies that address the indirect role of soil nitrogen for climate change feedbacks from Arctic ecosystems e.g. in regulating key components of ecosystem carbon exchange, such as plant C acquisition and soil organic matter decomposition. Approaches can range from empirical work to modelling studies, and operate at different scales from microbiological investigation to novel and traditional flux measurements to regional upscaling exercises. Our main aim is to promote the dialog between researchers working with carbon and non-carbon feedbacks from Arctic ecosystems to climate change, and to include N2O into overall assessments on climate change feedbacks of the Arctic.