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Greencycles II

WP4 – High latitude processes and feedbacks

Leader : Lund UniversityProf Torben Christensen

Input to Science and Environmental Policy : WP4 – Briefing Paper


The overall objective of WP4 is an improved understanding of the impacts of climate variability on high northern latitude greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions through data analysis and Earth System Modelling (ESM) development and application.

Specific methodological objectives include:

  • An improved understanding of connections between marine climate and terrestrial processes in the Arctic and their implications for the atmosphere.
  • Assessment of the large-scale sensitivity of CH₄ emissions at high latitudes to interannual climate variability.
  • Model development, model experiments, and subsequent analysis of the potential future responses of carbon and vegetation in the Arctic to changing climate.
  • Improved understanding of the relationships between precipitation changes and CH₄ emissions at high latitudes.
WP4 Word Cloud



  • A joint WP4 position paper associated with MC1 will be published describing the state-of-the-art with respect to understanding of high latitude processes and feedbacks – see MC1 webpage

Scientific products:

  • A multi-year dataset of climate and sea ice anomalies with contemporaneous data on terrestrial ecosystem functioning and its impacts on trace gas exchanges.
  • A tested and documented sub-model of Arctic soil C, permafrost, and vegetation dynamics.
  • A modelling framework representing high latitude CH4 emissions.
  • A multisite assessment of the climate sensitivity of high latitude CH4 emissions and how these impact atmospheric concentration dynamics.
  • A spatially explicit assessment of the potential future vulnerability of high-latitudinal soil carbon.

Inputs to science and environmental policy:

  • Recommendations for further research will be derived from the ability of the model products to reproduce the observational data obtained at specific sites and for the Arctic region as a whole. The results will help reduce uncertainties in climate scenarios due to the Arctic C cycle feedback, contributing to improvements in environmental policy.

Science Tasks

T4.1 Ocean-land interactions and teleconnections at high latitudes
Fellow: Dr Frans-Jan Parmentier (Lund University)
Supervisor: Prof Torben Christensen (Lund University)
Secondary Supervisor: Dr Laurent Bopp (Commissariat a l’Energie Atomique)

T4.2 Regional variations in atmospheric trace gas sources at high latitudes
Fellow: Norbert Pirk and previously Arnaud Héroult (Lund University)
Supervisor: Prof Torben Christensen (Lund University)
Secondary Supervisor: Prof Han Dolman (Vrje Universiteit)

T4.3 Land surface-atmosphere feedback mechanisms in high-latitude permafrost areas
Fellow: Altug Ekici (Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry)
Supervisor: Dr Christian Beer (Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry)
Secondary Supervisor: Prof Torben Christensen (Lund University)

T4.4 Stability and resilience of permafrost carbon
Fellow: Yanjiao Mi (Vrje Universiteit)
Supervisor: Dr J. van Huissteden (Vrje Universiteit)
Secondary Supervisors: Dr Christian Beer (Stockholm University), Prof Han Dolman (Vrije Universiteit)