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Winter Carbon Losses in Wetland Ecosystems project funded!

Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, has announced the recipient projects of the highly competitive “Advancing Climate Change Science in Canada” initiative.

Two members of the Laurentian University Permafrost Research Laboratory, Dr. Pascale Roy-Leveillee and Dr. Nathan Basiliko, are part of one of the only nine funded projects announced today.

The project, Winter Carbon Losses in Wetland Ecosystems under Current and Future Climates, was awarded $468,500 over a period of three years. The project is led by Dr. Fereidoun Rezanezhad of University of Waterloo’s Water Institute, and the co-investigators on this award are Pascale Roy-Leveillee and Nathan Basiliko (Laurentian University), William Quinton (Wilfrid Laurier University), Christina Smeaton (Grenfell Campus, Memorial University), Philippe Van Cappellen, Jonathan Price, and Nancy Goucher (University of Waterloo). The Canadian Forest Service Great Lakes Forestry Centre, Natural Resources Canada is a supporting organization through Kara Webster.

Peat cores from several canadian locations, including sites in Yukon, NWT, Manitoba, and Ontario, will be included in the study.

Project description: High latitude cold regions, including Arctic and northern areas of Canada, are warming more than twice as fast as the rest of the planet, with the greatest warming occurring during the winter. Canada’s temperate to subarctic wetlands and permafrost peatlands hold large stores of carbon which are susceptible to loss under future climate warming scenarios. Therefore, understanding the factors which regulate the processes controlling greenhouse gas emissions during the non-growing season is critical for predicting the fate of these vulnerable carbon stocks and for creating climate adaptation and mitigation strategies. With a focus on these critical ecosystems, the project brings together Canadian leaders from multiple disciplines from across universities with federal government scientists and policy makers to determine the drivers of non-growing season carbon cycling, develop process-based environmental models, and estimate CO2 emissions. In doing so, the project will address the knowledge gaps on emissions to provide data and tools to evaluate the impact of winter warming mitigation in controlling carbon losses from pan-Canadian wetland ecosystems.

Do you want to join the permafrost team at Laurentian University? We have several openings, please see our list of open funded positions.

Entrevue à Radio-Canada

Pascale était en entrevue à Radio-Canada le 22 octobre 2018 pour parler de sa recherche sur le pergélisol avec Caroline Borduas et Isabelle Fleury.

Pascale avec Caroline Borduas au studio de radio-Canada à Sudbury

Voici les liens vers l’entrevue (en deux temps) partie 1 et partie 2.   Bonne écoute!

 

Fieldwork near Peawanuck

 

 

Adam  joined Maara Packalen and Jim McLaughlin from the OMNR-F to conducted field  work from August 18th to 27th  near Peawanuck, Ontario, in the traditional territory of Winisk First Nation.

 

 

 

Before data collection, Adam, Jim, Maara, and other researchers from OMNRF participated in a 4 day outreach event (15th to 18th) to meet new community members, and reinforce existing relationships. The group of researchers camped at Hawley lake with approximately 30 community members, including  youth and elders, and conducted demonstrations and workshops. Adam got to dig a big pit with the kids to show them what permafrost is and where it is found, which was a big hit because kids enjoy playing in the mud, and so do permafrost researchers! Adam and Jessica, an OMNRF intern, had a chance to discuss opportunities for youth in science and research. This event was organized by Sam hunter, the community environmental steward.

 

 

 

An icy permafrost core from the interface between organics and mineral sediment beneath a palsa

 

 

After the camping trip, field work began to the east of Peawanuck, where Adam collected cores of active layer peat, permafrost, and thermokarst from palsas and peat plateaus. One of the cores that had over 50 cm of pure ice! He also installed stakes fitted with small temperature data loggers to monitor snow pack development through the winter, and temperature sensors into the top of permafrost to report on the relationship between snow pack and palsa degradation.

 

 

 

Adam loves field work… and helicopters

 

Though tired at the end of the trip, Adam, Jim, and Maara were happy with the work accomplished and sad to leave Peawanuck until next year.

Adam and Pascale present at EUCOP 2018 in Chamonix

EUCOP 2018 took place in beautiful Chamonix, and was a success with more than 400 conference attendees from 29 different countries. (During the conference, these attendees consumed 2000 pastries per day, 60 L of red wine, 30 L or white wine, and 2000 beers. Can you tell we were in France?)

Pascale gave the opening talk for the thermokarst lake session on Thursday the 28th. She presented a discussion of the influence of vegetation structure on the geomorphic evolution of thermokarst lakes in the forest tundra transition.

Adam presents to a full room a EUCOP, it was difficult to get a photo!

Adam attended the PYRN (Permafrost Young Researchers Network) workshops along with approximately 170 young researchers from June 22nd to 24th. He presented his undergraduate thesis research on greenhouse gas production production potential from degrading palsa fields of the Hudson Bay Lowlands  in the session on permafrost peatlands, on Tuesday the 26th. The room was overflowing, with people sitting on the floor and filling the hallway in front of the door.

Up North On Climate Conference, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Pascale and Adam attended the Up North on Climate Conference in Thunder Bay, April 24 to 26. They presented as part of a panel on peat and permafrost along with Nathan Basiliko from Laurentian University, Maara Packalen, and Jim McLaughlin from OMNRF.

The conference was a concluding event to the work conducted by David Pearson and his team in collaboration with MIRARCO‘s Climate Change Division and northern Ontario communities to improve preparedness for the consequences of a changing climate.  The conference was well attended, with representatives from more than 50 northern Ontario First Nation communities (out of 88 communities in the north of Ontario), as well as members of provincial and territorial governments and university-based researchers.

 

Elders panel at Up North on Climate Conference in Thunder Bay, April 2018. From left to right: Josephine BigGeorge, Mike Hunter, Bellamie Bighead (translator), Joel Bighead, Wilfred Wesley, and David Pearson.