Presentation Type

Poster

Abstract

The Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring (CALM) Project has been monitoring permafrost (perennially frozen ground) and its overlaying active layer (which freezes and thaws annually) throughout northern Alaska’s Kuparuk River watershed and throughout the polar regions since the mid 1990’s to detect long-term responses to our changing climate. The soil-surface temperature data is collected by thermistors that were positioned immediately below the surface of the ground at nine locations within a transect of 1-ha plots arranged from north to south across the region. Locations within each plot were individually selected to represent a full range of microsite conditions, with distinctions in vegetation, moisture, and microtopography. For my research, I am comparing temperature measurements from three different datalogger models from the same manufacturer deployed in pairs over 1-year durations from 2005-2006 and 2011-2012. Diagrams comparing daily soil-surface and air-temperature differences between the different instrumentation models will be generated, looking for systematic variations due to vegetation, air temperature, and moisture. It is hypothesized that temporal variability in the differences between instrumentation will be systematically related to seasonal cycles of temperature, with the largest differences being in winter when temperatures are near the minimum reliability range of the dataloggers. Spatial variability throughout the plots will be examined, with the larger differences hypothesized to be at the warmer, drier sites. Although instrumentation comparison is standard practice, the statistics I will be generating and analyzing are necessary to quantify the reliability and consistency of the CALM dataset and this evaluation has not yet been completed. My research will contribute to the greater understanding of our complicated climatic system, as the thickening of the active layer in Arctic regions may potentially discharge further greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, thus yielding a variety of ecological feedbacks and further intensification of climate change.

Category

Physical Sciences

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Apr 11th, 11:00 AM Apr 11th, 12:00 PM

Air and Soil Temperature Variability in Northern Alaska

The Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring (CALM) Project has been monitoring permafrost (perennially frozen ground) and its overlaying active layer (which freezes and thaws annually) throughout northern Alaska’s Kuparuk River watershed and throughout the polar regions since the mid 1990’s to detect long-term responses to our changing climate. The soil-surface temperature data is collected by thermistors that were positioned immediately below the surface of the ground at nine locations within a transect of 1-ha plots arranged from north to south across the region. Locations within each plot were individually selected to represent a full range of microsite conditions, with distinctions in vegetation, moisture, and microtopography. For my research, I am comparing temperature measurements from three different datalogger models from the same manufacturer deployed in pairs over 1-year durations from 2005-2006 and 2011-2012. Diagrams comparing daily soil-surface and air-temperature differences between the different instrumentation models will be generated, looking for systematic variations due to vegetation, air temperature, and moisture. It is hypothesized that temporal variability in the differences between instrumentation will be systematically related to seasonal cycles of temperature, with the largest differences being in winter when temperatures are near the minimum reliability range of the dataloggers. Spatial variability throughout the plots will be examined, with the larger differences hypothesized to be at the warmer, drier sites. Although instrumentation comparison is standard practice, the statistics I will be generating and analyzing are necessary to quantify the reliability and consistency of the CALM dataset and this evaluation has not yet been completed. My research will contribute to the greater understanding of our complicated climatic system, as the thickening of the active layer in Arctic regions may potentially discharge further greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, thus yielding a variety of ecological feedbacks and further intensification of climate change.