Permafrost Carbon Network

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The Permafrost Carbon Network is part of the multi-million dollar Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH) project. The SEARCH project, headed by the University of Alaska Fairbanks as the lead institution and Northern Arizona University as one partner, is a system-scale, cross-disciplinary research program that seeks to connect the science of Arctic change to decision makers. The Permafrost Action Team, led by Ted Schuur will, in part, support activities developed by the Permafrost Carbon Network. The network has been successfully running since 2011 and includes more than 300 scientists from 88 research institutions located in 17 countries.

Approximately 1330-1580 Pg of soil carbon are estimated to be stored in soils and permafrost of high latitude ecosystems, which is almost twice as much carbon as is currently contained in the atmosphere. In a warmer world permafrost thawing and decomposition of previously frozen organic carbon is one of the more likely positive feedbacks from terrestrial ecosystems to the atmosphere. Although ground temperature increases in permafrost regions are well documented there is a knowledge gap in the response of permafrost carbon to climate change.


The Permafrost Carbon Network started in 2011 and our main objectives are to synthesize existing research about permafrost carbon and climate ina format that can be assimilated by biospheric and climate models, and that will contribute to future assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Our activities include a series of meetings and working groups designed to synthesize ongoing permafrost carbon research which will produce new knowledge to quantify the role of permafrost carbon in driving climate change in the 21st century and beyond.




Multiple synthesis products have come out of activities of the Permafrost Carbon Network





See here who is leading the Permafrost Carbon Network



More publications can be found here

Kuhn M et al. 2018 Emissions from thaw ponds largely offset the carbon sink of northern permafrost wetlands Scientific Reports 8 9535. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-27770-x

Lindgren A, Hugelius G & Kuhry P (2018). Extensive loss of past permafrost carbon but a net accumulation into present-day soils. Nature,

Loranty MM et al. 2018 Reviews and syntheses: Changing ecosystem influences on soil thermal regimes in northern high-latitude permafrost regions Biogeosciences 15 5287–313.

Lupascu M et al. 2018 Winter ecosystem respiration and sources of CO2 from the High Arctic tundra of Svalbard: Response to a deeper snow experiment Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 123. doi: 10.1029/2018JG004396

McGuire AD et al. 2018 Assessing Historical and Projected Carbon Balance of Alaska: A Synthesis of Results and Policy/Management Implications Ecological Applications doi: 10.1002/eap.1768

Monteux S et al. 2018 Long-term in situ permafrost thaw effects on bacterial communities and potential aerobic respiration The ISME Journal Online 12, 2129-2141. doi: 10.1038/s41396-018-0176-z

Walter Anthony K et al. 2018 21st-century modeled permafrost carbon emissions accelerated by abrupt thaw beneath lakes Nature Communications 9 3262. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-05738-9

Wilkman E et al. 2018 Temperature response of respiration across the heterogeneous landscape of the Alaskan Arctic tundra Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 123, 2287–2302. doi: 10.1029/2017JG004227

Wickland KP et al. 2018, Dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen release from boreal Holocene permafrost and seasonally frozen soils of Alaska, Environ. Res. Lett., 13 065011, doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/aac4ad




Details on upcoming and past meetings can be found here




The Permafrost Carbon Network engages in scientific and public outreach




The Northern Circumpolar Soil Carbon Database