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

Expedition: Hamburg-based Climate Researchers in Siberia


How much carbon is hidden in those soil regions of Siberia influenced by permafrost? From April 13 to May 12, Dr. Sebastian Zubrzycki and Master’s student Ralph Brokate from the Institute of Soil Science will seek the answer to this question in Russia’s arctic reaches. As a result of the progressing climate change, these permanently frozen soils may soon begin to thaw and release the locked in organic matter in the form of considerable amounts of greenhouse gases, which would in turn accelerate climate change processes.

Over the course of the expedition, the experts from the Institute of Soil Science will drill for various soil samples, which will provide key information on how high the levels of CO2 and other greenhouse gases are. Over the past 2.6 million years, substantial amounts of organic material, above all carbon, have accumulated in the substrata of the 8.6-million-square-kilometer region north of the fiftieth parallel. Determining the levels and distribution of carbon in the Siberian permafrost will provide a basis for simulating regional and global climate scenarios.

Zubrzycki and Brokate will also use the soil samples they gather to investigate over which timeframe the carbon deposits formed - and how long it will take for the CO2 to be released under changing climate conditions.