Center for Permafrost
About one fourth of the Arctic is covered with permafrost or soil which is permanently frozen. Due to global warming permafrost is thawing over large tracts of the Arctic.
Permafrost soil stores almost half of all global soil organic material. Thawing increases decomposition by microorganisms of this enormous stock of organic material. During the decomposition carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases are released to the atmosphere, potentially increasing global warming.
In CENPERM, different scientific disciplines meet as we investigate the biological, geographical and physical effects of permafrost thawing in Greenland – in the short and the long term. We undertake and combine field experiments in Greenland under extreme conditions with experiments under controlled conditions in our laboratories.
We expect that our work will provide groundbreaking new insight into the complex interactions going on between microbial activity, plant growth and soil structure when permafrost thaws.