Forecasting climate change impacts on High Arctic ecosystems

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Anders Michelsen


University of Copenhagen


DKK 110,657




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Use of automated sensors connected to advanced dataloggers for measuring soil moisture and temperature will greatly benefit our work on ecosystem responses. The Arctic is rapidly warming which leads to increased plant growth. However, polar deserts cover most of the ice-free High Arctic and are likely more responsive to projected increases in precipitation than to warming, but effects of precipitation changes on soil moisture, and thus plant growth, remain poorly documented and understood. To mimic climate change, we have experimentally doubled precipitation in the plant active period of a dry ecosystem in NE Greenland for the past 25 years. Precise soil moisture data from the experiment will provide unique and essential information about longterm moisture controls on ecosystem processes.

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