The IASC Terrestrial and Cryosphere Working Groups (WGs) are supporting a workshop on the Vulnerability of Permafrost Carbon. The workshop will take place in May 2012 in Florida, US. Approximately 1670 Pg of soil carbon are estimated to be stored in soils and permafrost of high latitude ecosystems, which is twice as much carbon as is currently contained in the atmosphere. In a warmer world permafrost thawing and decomposition of previously frozen organic carbon is one of the more likely positive feedbacks from terrestrial ecosystems to the atmosphere. Although ground temperature increases in permafrost regions are well documented there is a knowledge gap in the response of permafrost carbon to climate change.
The main objectives of the Vulnerability of Permafrost Carbon Research Coordination Network are to synthesize and link existing research about permafrost carbon and climate in a format that can be assimilated by biospheric and climate models, and that will contribute to future assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). These overall objectives are closely related to the scientific foci of the Terrestrial (“Determining the net effect of the terrestrial and freshwater environmental and biosphere’s processes that amplify or moderate climate warming”) and Cryosphere WG (“Permafrost”, including support of activities being undertaken by the International Permafrost Association.)

For more information go to: www.biology.ufl.edu/permafrostcarbon/index.html