UAA Represented at the American Geophysical Union Meeting in San Francisco

December 21, 2007

Each year approximately 15,000 scientists from across the world gather for the American Geophysical Union Meeting to share their research findings in the form of oral and poster presentations. The scope of research is quite broad including the Biogeosciences, Polar Ecology, Glacialogy, Hydrology, Palaeolimnology and Space Physics.

This year ENRI faculty, postdoctoral scientists, and graduate students presented 5 papers highlighting a series of findings including: 1) long-term experimental snow increases at Toolik Lake, AK has thawed permafrost and is releasing CO2 that is more than 1,000 years old, 2) increases in shrub abundance on the north slope appears to be due in part to higher rates of leaf photosynthesis in plants where snow depth is greater, 3) areas where shrubs have increases over the past 15 years have switched from being carbon sources to carbon sinks, 4) deeper snow in the High Arctic of Greenland result in higher rates of soil N cycling and 5) lake sediment cores from south central Alaska lakes record long-term changes in vegetation and salmon return intensities.

Many of these findings are supported by NSF IPY and Biocomplexity awards to Drs. Welker, Sveinbjornsson and Sullivan and represent the culmination of many years of field research projects in Alaska and Greenland.

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