About NGEE

The Arctic has emerged as an important focal point for the study of climate change. Characterized by its heterogeneous landscape and vast amounts of carbon stored in permafrost, this region is experiencing rapid changes in climate, particularly temperature and hydrology. It is also a region that is critical to understanding how complex systems will respond to a changing climate and how processes underlying those changes can be represented in climate models. Improving climate prediction in high-latitude ecosystems will require understanding permafrost and snow dynamics and the many cascading impacts of a changing geophysical system on terrestrial ecosystems, surface and subsurface processes, land-atmospheric interactions, and landscape dynamics.

In addressing this challenge, the Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE) project will use experiments, observations, and process models to quantify the response of physical, ecological, and biogeochemical processes to atmospheric and climatic change across molecular to landscape scales. A multi-disciplinary team will focus on interactions that drive ecosystem-climate feedbacks through greenhouse gas fluxes and changes in surface energy balance. Phase 1 of the project will focus on meta-analysis and synthesis activities; modeling at process to global scales to identify sensitivities and quantify uncertainties; integrated studies at pore/core, plot and landscape scale; and methods and technology development. Our research approach is to conduct field and lab experiments and observations that together will advance our understanding of system-level behavior. Phase 2 will expand these activities by adding expanded observational studies and, where appropriate, manipulative experiments to further the goal of quantifying critical biological and geomorphological changes possible for the Arctic and their underlying mechanisms. Fundamental knowledge will be used to reduce uncertainty and improve representation of processes in Earth System Models.

Read more at the NGEE project website »