2017 North American Carbon Program Meeting

SEARCH Session: Critical regions as global carbon hotspots

Event Type: Conferences and Workshops

When: 27 March 2017 to 30 March 2017

Where: Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center - North Bethesda, Maryland

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Members of the SEARCH Permafrost Carbon Network (Christina Schädel, Trevor Keenan, and Abhishek Chatterjee) will be hosting a session at the 2017 North American Carbon Program Meeting.

Session Description: Critical regions of North America are areas with high carbon storage or carbon uptake that are highly vulnerable to climate change and human disturbance and hence play key roles in the North American and global carbon cycle. High latitudes store immense amounts of carbon in permanently frozen ground (permafrost). With a warming climate, permafrost degradation and subsequent microbial decomposition are likely to increase, thereby releasing large amounts of carbon in the form of carbon dioxide and methane to the atmosphere. Tropical forests represent the largest sink for anthropogenic emissions on land, but large uncertainties exist in regard to the impacts of drought and climate change. Although coastal wetlands occupy a small percentage of the North American land area, they sequester large amounts of carbon that is threatened by sea level rise and human development. Understanding the fates of carbon sources and sinks within these highly dynamic regions of North America is important to establish the North American carbon budget and to inform global carbon-cycle models.

This session invites submissions that contribute to the understanding of losses and gains of carbon in high latitudes, tropical ecosystems, and other critical regions of North America. Studies may range from the micro to the global scale, using a variety of measurements including laboratory analyses, field and satellite observations, ecosystem manipulation experiments and process-based modeling. Contributions identifying gaps and applying new methods or combining different approaches (experiments, observations, modeling) for monitoring and quantifying carbon dynamics in these ecosystems are particularly welcome.