CliSAP successfully finished in 2018. Climate research continues in the Cluster of Excellence "CLICCS".

Greenhouse Gases found in Ice and Bog: An interview with Dr. Benjamin Runkle


This month, the interview series "Klimaforschung made in Hamburg" presents Benjamin Runkle. In the CliSAP research group "Regional Hydrology in Terrestrial Systems", the graduated environmental engineer analyzes the interaction between the carbon cycle and hydrological cycle in permafrost soils and bog soils.

An increase in temperature in the Arctic due to global warming makes it more likely that  permafrost soils will melt down to greater depths during summer, shortening the winter period of freezing. Potential consequences: Landscape changes and release of organic substances which are stored in the soil as greenhouse gases – such as carbon dioxide or methane.Benjamin Runkle and his colleagues from the Institute of Soil Science of the University of Hamburg take the long route in order to analyze how these processes are controlled. Their expeditions lead them to the Russian taiga and the Arctic Lena delta in Siberia.In order to understand and quantify potential "carbon leaks", Benjamin Runkle analyzes the transport paths of the carbon contained in the soil water. Why? The movement of carbon does not only take place between ground soil and atmosphere, but also within the soil as well as from the soil into lakes and rivers. With these results, it is possible for the scientists to close data gaps in climate models and to estimate the impact of the greenhouse gases released from the permafrost soils and bog soils on global warming.The interview was conducted by Prof. Dr. Hans von Storch, director at the Institute for Coastal Research at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht and Prof. Dr. Mike S. Schäfer, director of the work group "Media Constructions of Climate Change" at the KlimaCampus Hamburg.

Read Interview with Benjamin Runkle