Katrine is imitating climate change

How will a warmer climate change a typical West Greenlandic tundra?


By Nicoline Larsen


How is a warmer climate going to change a typical West Greenlandic tundra? That is the question biologist Kathrine Raundrup from Pinngortitaleriffik (Greenland Institute of Natural Resources) is looking into at the Kobbefjord Research Station.


The global temperature is expected to increase 2-4 °C as a consequence of climate change. At a research station in Kobbefjord, close to Nuuk, Katrine Raundrup and her colleagues are trying to determine what this will result in for the tundra plants in West Greenland.. Arctic Hub joined Katrine Raundrup on one of her many field trips to the station.


Here, Katrine Raundrup showed us the different test setups they have made to find out how plants will react to the expected changes in climate. These test setups imitate the weather conditions that scientists expect in the future.


One of the setups is making a warmer environment for the plants growing there. Another is shielding the plants from the sun with a meshed linen to simulate a future where it is cloudier due to climate change.


See the video above to find out how the plants react.


The work Katrine Raundrup and her colleagues are doing in Kobbefjord is part of a long-time monitoring program (Greenland Ecosystem Monitoring) that has been going on for for more than 25 years. Long-time monitoring means that researchers collect data for many years instead of just once. With this approach they gain a deeper understanding of the area and the processes resulting from the changing climate – and avoid jumping to conclusions based on, say, one incredible rainy summer.



Read more about Greenland Ecosystem Monitoring at www.g-e-m.dk.