Torben R. Christensen

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[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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
Recent claims of cultivable ancient bacteria within sealed environments highlight our limited understanding of the mechanisms behind long-term cell survival. It remains unclear how dormancy, a favored explanation for extended cellular persistence, can cope with spontaneous genomic decay over geological timescales. There has been no direct evidence in(More)
Snow cover plays a major role in the climate, hydrological and ecological systems of the Arctic and other regions through its influence on the surface energy balance (e.g. reflectivity), water balance (e.g. water storage and release), thermal regimes (e.g. insulation), vegetation and trace gas fluxes. Feedbacks to the climate system have global(More)