Torben R. Christensen

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The recent warming in the Arctic is affecting a broad spectrum of physical, ecological, and human/cultural systems that may be irreversible on century time scales and have the potential to cause rapid changes in the earth system. The response of the carbon cycle of the Arctic to changes in climate is a major issue of global concern, yet there has not been a(More)
[1] Large variations in the composition, structure, and function of Arctic ecosystems are determined by climatic gradients, especially of growing-season warmth, soil moisture, and snow cover. A unified circumpolar classification recognizing five types of tundra was developed. The geographic distributions of vegetation types north of 55°N, including the(More)
At the close of the Fourth International Polar Year, we take stock of the ecological consequences of recent climate change in the Arctic, focusing on effects at population, community, and ecosystem scales. Despite the buffering effect of landscape heterogeneity, Arctic ecosystems and the trophic relationships that structure them have been severely(More)
Terrestrial wetland emissions are the largest single source of the greenhouse gas methane. Northern high-latitude wetlands contribute significantly to the overall methane emissions from wetlands, but the relative source distribution between tropical and high-latitude wetlands remains uncertain. As a result, not all the observed spatial and seasonal patterns(More)
Although Arctic tundra has been estimated to cover only 8 % of the global land surface, the large and potentially labile carbon pools currently stored in tundra soils have the potential for large emissions of carbon (C) under a warming climate. These emissions as radiatively active greenhouse gases in the form of both CO 2 and CH 4 could amplify global(More)
Approximately 1700 Pg of soil carbon (C) are stored in the northern circumpolar permafrost zone, more than twice as much C than in the atmosphere. The overall amount, rate, and form of C released to the atmosphere in a warmer world will influence the strength of the permafrost C feedback to climate change. We used a survey to quantify variability in the(More)
Terrestrial ecosystems of high latitudes occupy approximately one-fourth of the Earth's vegetated surface. Substantial climatic warming has occurred in many high latitude areas during the latter half of the 20 th Century (Serreze et al. 2000), and evidence continues to mount that this warming has been affecting the structure and function of terrestrial(More)
[1] A unified scheme to assign pollen samples to vegetation types was used to reconstruct vegetation patterns north of 55°N at the last glacial maximum (LGM) and mid-Holocene (6000 years B.P.). The pollen data set assembled for this purpose represents a comprehensive compilation based on the work of many projects and research groups. Five tundra types(More)
8 The northern cryosphere is undergoing substantial warming of permafrost and loss of sea ice. Release of stored carbon to the atmosphere in response to this change has the potential to affect the global climate system. Studies indicate that the northern cryosphere has been not only a substantial sink for atmospheric CO 2 in recent decades, but also an(More)