Extensive evidence shows that climate warming is changing arctic terrestrial ecosystem functioning (Hinzman et al., 2005). Warmer air temperatures are accelerating permafrost thaw, changing snow pack and melt, groundwater flow rates, flow paths and its relative contribution to surface waters leading to shifts in the composition of terrestrial catchment biogeochemical exports (Walvoord & Striegl, 2007). These changes potentially have global impacts on biogeochemical cycles due to the top 3 m of permafrost soils containing an estimated 1035±150 Pg of carbon (Hugelius et al., 2014). Accurately estimating future carbon release is important to determine ecosystem functioning and the feedback effect it will have on climate change, which remains one of the least constrained (Schuur et al., 2015; Stocker et al., 2013). One source of uncertainty is the poorly understood coupled hydrologic and biogeochemical processes in permafrost soils, specifically in the active layer. Hydrologic conditions control if and how fast carbon is decomposed in the active layer soil or transported to aquatic systems (Koch et al., 2013). A combined modelling and experimental approach will be used to gain insight into spatial relocation of carbon from a tundra catchment to aquatic systems. The aim is to identify mechanisms driving the dissolved gases and organic carbon dynamics and linkages between terrestrial and aquatic systems.
We provide a disciplinary and multidisciplinary research programme aimed at advanced understanding of environmental problems and advanced training of PhD candidates in this field.