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The Importance of a Surface Organic Layer in Simulating Permafrost Thermal and Carbon Dynamics : Volume 9, Issue 3 (12/06/2015)

By Jafarov, E.

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Book Id: WPLBN0004023216
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 27
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: The Importance of a Surface Organic Layer in Simulating Permafrost Thermal and Carbon Dynamics : Volume 9, Issue 3 (12/06/2015)  
Author: Jafarov, E.
Volume: Vol. 9, Issue 3
Language: English
Subject: Science, Cryosphere, Discussions
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection, Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Schaefer, K., & Jafarov, E. (2015). The Importance of a Surface Organic Layer in Simulating Permafrost Thermal and Carbon Dynamics : Volume 9, Issue 3 (12/06/2015). Retrieved from

Description: National Snow and Ice Data Center, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO 80309, USA. Permafrost-affected soils contain twice as much carbon as currently exists in the atmosphere. Studies show that warming of the perennially frozen ground could initiate significant release of the frozen soil carbon into the atmosphere. To reduce the uncertainty associated with the modeling of the permafrost carbon feedback it is important to start with the observed soil carbon distribution and to better address permafrost thermal and carbon dynamics. We used the recent Northern Circumpolar Soil Carbon Dataset to simulate present soil organic carbon (SOC) distribution in permafrost-affected soils under the steady state climate forcing. We implemented a dynamic surface organic layer with vertical carbon redistribution and dynamic root growth controlled by active layer thickness to improve modeling of the permafrost thermodynamics. Our results indicate that a dynamic surface organic layer improved permafrost thermal dynamics and simulated active layer thickness, allowing better simulation of the observed SOC densities and their spatial distribution.

The importance of a surface organic layer in simulating permafrost thermal and carbon dynamics

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