2013-2014 Science Planning Summaries
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Response of carbon accumulation in moss peatbanks to past warm climates in the Antarctic Peninsula

Program Manager:
Dr. Mark Kurz

Event Number: G-094-P

ASC POC/Implementer:
Samina Ouda

Dr. Zicheng Yu (Principal Investigator)

Lehigh University
Earth and Environmental Sciences
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Supporting Stations:  Palmer Station
Research Locations:  Western Antarctic Peninsula / Litchfield and Galindez Islands

Project Description:
This project will assess the response of carbon accumulation in moss peatbanks to climate changes over the last 1,000 years on the Antarctic Peninsula. The overall goal is to document the formation ages and temporal changes in these peat-forming ecosystems in response to climate warming and ice retreat in an ice-dominated region. To that end, researchers will target the most recent pre-industrial warm period, the Medieval Warm Period, about 800 years ago, and the recent and ongoing warming interval over the last several decades. The high-resolution time series of ecosystem and climate changes that they develop will help put the observed recent changes into a long-term context, and help bridge process-level understanding across decadal, centennial, and millennial time scales. The researcher's approach is to evaluate the outcomes of past, natural climate warming events that have occurred on the Antarctic Peninsula to better understand polar ecosystem responses to climate change in the past and future.

Field Season Overview:
Four field team members will sail to the Antarctic Peninsula on the ARSV Laurence M. Gould. They will spend part of their time at Palmer Station, and part at the Ukraine station, Vernadsky. They will use Zodiacs to observe and collect moss, peat and other samples from Litchfield, Galindez, and various other islands. Samples will be returned to the home institution for further study.

Deploying Team Members:

  • David Beilman (Co-PI)
  • Julie Loisel
  • Mary Tardona
  • Zicheng Yu (PI)

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