Global warming is most dramatically visible at the edge of the Arctic, where peatlands run in a broad strip around the globe. These wetlands contain as much as 20% of the world’s carbon, usually locked in permafrost. But as the permafrost thaws, carbon dioxide and methane — the most pernicious greenhouse gases — may be released, which in turn could increase the rate of global warming, with devastating implications for the planet. What happens to the peat here will not only alter the local ecosystem, but also the entire biosphere.
You can help Dr. Peter Kershaw and colleagues monitor ecosystem responses and gather data on the potential impacts of this phenomenon — before it’s too late.
What to Expect?
In this inimitable Arctic landscape, you’ll study climate change at sites ranging from the tundra into the forest by monitoring changes affecting the gases stored in these peat-rich ecosystems. Summer and fall teams will use ground-penetrating radar, microclimate dataloggers, and soil coring to measure the permafrost’s organic carbon levels.
You’ll also live-trap small mammals, evaluate growth rings in trees and shrubs through sampling, and monitor plant development. February teams will experience the Arctic’s edge in its most dramatic season. Traveling by gamutik (sled) towed by snowmobiles, you’ll classify ice crystals, and measure snowpack thickness, density, and temperature. You can also learn how to build an igloo and sleep in it comfortably, even when the temperature outside is -30 or -40 degrees Celsius.
- Program ID: # 1864
- duration: 1 to 2 Weeks
- location: Churchill, Manitoba, Canada Churchill , MBCanada58° 46' 9.0012" N, 94° 10' 8.976" WManitoba CA
- Fitness level: Moderately Fit
- Closest Airport: Churchill, Canada (YYQ)
- Costs From: Over $3000
- Program Type: Learn Abroad
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