When Permafrost Thaws: Tundra Carbon Feedbacks to Climate Change

Dartmouth Events

When Permafrost Thaws: Tundra Carbon Feedbacks to Climate Change

Professor Caitlin Pries works on the terrestrial carbon cycle and how the carbon balance of ecosystems is determined by the interplay of soil and plant processes with climate.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Haldeman 41 (Kreindler Conference Hall)
Intended Audience(s): Public
Categories: Lectures & Seminars

Caitlin E. Hicks Pries

Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, Dartmouth

The loss of carbon from tundra ecosystems is a large, looming positive feedback to climate change. Permafrost soils store twice the amount of carbon as is currently in our atmosphere. Warming is causing permafrost to thaw resulting in the potential loss of soil carbon that had previously been frozen for hundreds to thousands of years. Numerous experiments have shown increased ecosystem carbon losses due to warming temperatures. I have used isotopes to investigate whether these losses are due to increased plant production, a neutral feedback to climate change, or the increased decomposition of old soil carbon, a potentially devastating positive feedback to climate change, in the tundra of Alaska and Sweden.

Caitlin Hicks Pries is an assistant professor in the Biological Sciences Department at Dartmouth. Her research focuses on the response of ecosystem carbon cycling to climate change. She recently moved here from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California. She has a Masters in Soil and Water Science and a PhD in Biology from the University of Florida. She is happy to finally be back in New England where she grew up.

For more information, contact:
Lee McDavid

Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.

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