Washington: Scientists are planning a large-scale, long-term ecosystem experiment to test the effects of global warming on the icy layers of Arctic.
"The arctic regions are important to the topic of global warming because of the large land area they occupy around the world and the layer of permanently frozen soil, known as permafrost,” said Stan Wullschleger of the Environmental Sciences Division.
The prototype will purposely warm a test area (above-and below-ground) of about 20 meters in diameter in order to evaluate ecosystem response to projected climate conditions. Whether carbon stored in permafrost will be released as the soil warms will indicate the extent of the effect of climate change.
"We`re developing a prototype because we haven`t tested the equipment under arctic conditions before. In parts of Alaska, temperatures will drop to minus-40 degrees Fahrenheit," Wullschleger said.
Results from the prototype tests, modelling simulations, and other scientific analyses will be used to determine the location of the long-term ecosystem experiment.