Search site

School of Geography

Thomas Sim Thomas Sim

Contact details

School of Geography
University of Leeds
University Road
Leeds LS2 9JT   UK



Masters by Research project title

Ecological and carbon accumulation response of Canadian permafrost peatlands to climate change

Project Overview

Permafrost peatlands of the pan-Arctic region are estimated to contain ~277.3Pg of C, representing 14% of global terrestrial soil C (Tarnocai et al., 2009). The stability of this previously inactive C store is vulnerable to rapid thawing under a warming climate, having the potential to initiate a positive feedback mechanism releasing large amounts of CH4 as a result of waterlogged conditions to further the greenhouse effect (Dlugokencky et al., 2009; 2011; Moore and Roulet, 1993). 

However, recent research suggests that this CH4 and CO2 release may be counteracted by stimulation of ecosystem productivity increasing C accumulation in thawed permafrost peatlands as a response to warmer conditions (Charman et al. 2013; Klein et al., 2010; Swindles et al., 2015). Therefore the ability of permafrost peatlands to buffer the magnitude of future climate warming may be greater than previously thought, but whether they will become net sinks or sources of C remains unclear.

Project Objectives

  1. To investigate the ecological and carbon accumulation response of a continental interior permafrost peatland to climate change.
  2. To test the application of palaeoecological method for high Arctic permafrost peatlands




  • 2012-2016 University of Leeds, UK - BSc (Hons) Geography (International)
  • 2014-2015 University of Queensland, Australia – Study abroad year