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Niels Martin Schmidt

Large loss of CO2 in winter observed across the northern permafrost region

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperLetterResearchpeer-review

  • Susan M. Natali, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
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  • Jennifer D. Watts, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
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  • Brendan M. Rogers, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
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  • Stefano Potter, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
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  • Sarah M. Ludwig, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
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  • Anne Katrin Selbmann, University of Bayreuth
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  • Patrick F. Sullivan, University of Alaska Anchorage
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  • Benjamin W. Abbott, Brigham Young University
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  • Kyle A. Arndt, San Diego State University
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  • Leah Birch, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
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  • Mats P. Björkman, Göteborgs Universitet
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  • A. Anthony Bloom, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology
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  • Gerardo Celis, Northern Arizona University
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  • Torben R. Christensen
  • Casper T. Christiansen, University of Bergen
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  • Roisin Commane, Columbia University
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  • Elisabeth J. Cooper, UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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  • Patrick Crill, Stockholm University
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  • Claudia Czimczik, University of California at Irvine
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  • Sergey Davydov, Russian Academy of Sciences
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  • Jinyang Du, University of Montana
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  • Jocelyn E. Egan, Dalhousie University
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  • Bo Elberling, University of Copenhagen
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  • Eugenie S. Euskirchen, University of Alaska Fairbanks
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  • Thomas Friborg, University of Copenhagen
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  • Hélène Genet, University of Alaska Fairbanks
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  • Mathias Göckede, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry
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  • Jordan P. Goodrich, San Diego State University, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
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  • Paul Grogan, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario
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  • Manuel Helbig, McMaster University, HEC Montréal (Université de Montréal)
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  • Elchin E. Jafarov, Los Alamos National Laboratory
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  • Julie D. Jastrow, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, USA
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  • Aram A.M. Kalhori, San Diego State University
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  • Yongwon Kim, University of Alaska Fairbanks
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  • John S. Kimball, University of Montana
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  • Lars Kutzbach, Universitat Hamburg
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  • Mark J. Lara, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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  • Klaus S. Larsen, University of Copenhagen
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  • Bang Yong Lee, Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology
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  • Zhihua Liu, Chinese Academy of Sciences
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  • Michael M. Loranty, Colgate University
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  • Magnus Lund
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  • Massimo Lupascu, National University of Singapore
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  • Nima Madani, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology
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  • Avni Malhotra, Stanford University, Stanford, California
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  • Roser Matamala, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, USA
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  • Jack McFarland, U.S. Geological Survey
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  • A. David McGuire, University of Alaska Fairbanks
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  • Anders Michelsen, University of Copenhagen
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  • Christina Minions, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
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  • Walter C. Oechel, San Diego State University, University of Exeter
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  • David Olefeldt, University of Alberta
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  • Frans Jan W. Parmentier, Universitetet i Oslo, Lund University
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  • Norbert Pirk, Universitetet i Oslo, Lund University
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  • Ben Poulter, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
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  • William Quinton, Wilfrid Laurier University
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  • Fereidoun Rezanezhad, University of Waterloo
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  • David Risk, Saint Francis Xavier University
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  • Torsten Sachs, Helmholtz Centre Potsdam - German Research Centre for Geosciences
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  • Kevin Schaefer, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO
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  • Niels M. Schmidt
  • Edward A.G. Schuur, Northern Arizona University
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  • Philipp R. Semenchuk, University of Vienna
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  • Gaius Shaver, The ECO Center Center for Ecosystems and Environmental Sustainability
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  • Oliver Sonnentag, HEC Montréal (Université de Montréal)
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  • Gregory Starr, University of Alabama
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  • Claire C. Treat, University of Eastern Finland
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  • Mark P. Waldrop, U.S. Geological Survey
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  • Yihui Wang, San Diego State University
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  • Jeffrey Welker, University of Alaska Anchorage, University of Oulu
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  • Christian Wille, Helmholtz Centre Potsdam - German Research Centre for Geosciences
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  • Xiaofeng Xu, San Diego State University
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  • Zhen Zhang, Maryland University
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  • Qianlai Zhuang, Purdue University
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  • Donatella Zona, San Diego State University, University of Sheffield

Recent warming in the Arctic, which has been amplified during the winter1–3, greatly enhances microbial decomposition of soil organic matter and subsequent release of carbon dioxide (CO2)4. However, the amount of CO2 released in winter is not known and has not been well represented by ecosystem models or empirically based estimates5,6. Here we synthesize regional in situ observations of CO2 flux from Arctic and boreal soils to assess current and future winter carbon losses from the northern permafrost domain. We estimate a contemporary loss of 1,662 TgC per year from the permafrost region during the winter season (October–April). This loss is greater than the average growing season carbon uptake for this region estimated from process models (−1,032 TgC per year). Extending model predictions to warmer conditions up to 2100 indicates that winter CO2 emissions will increase 17% under a moderate mitigation scenario—Representative Concentration Pathway 4.5—and 41% under business-as-usual emissions scenario—Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5. Our results provide a baseline for winter CO2 emissions from northern terrestrial regions and indicate that enhanced soil CO2 loss due to winter warming may offset growing season carbon uptake under future climatic conditions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Climate Change
Volume9
Issue11
Pages (from-to)852-857
Number of pages6
ISSN1758-678X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019

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