Arctic peat bogs have been absorbing carbon for thousands of years, but will this continue as the poles heat up? Warmer temperatures could cause bogs to decay, sending billions of tons of carbon back into the air. But a warmer climate might also improve growing conditions, allowing the bogs to take up more carbon than before. A team of scientists will travel to Alaska's remote North Slope to collect peat bog samples to understand how climate and carbon uptake have varied over the past 15,000 years and what this might mean for the future.
Location: Imnavait Creek, near Toolik Lake Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Station, Alaska
Team: Jonathan Nichols, John Karavias, Visiting Arctic Science Teacher (VAST) from Walt Whitman High
Purpose: Climate and Carbon Research
Start Date: July 1, 2012