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Photo: Jonas Stenström

30 years of research on climate change in the tundra captured in a new film


200 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle, at the Latnjajaure field station outside Abisko in Northern Sweden, the University of Gothenburg has for 30 years participated in an international field research experiment to increase knowledge about the impact of climate warming on tundra vegetation across the Arctic. A short film about this long-term experiment is now published.

Youtube: 30 years of experimental warming and monitoring at Latnjajaure Field Station.

Latnjajaure field station is located in what is known as the Subarctic climate zone. The research conducted here is part of the International Tundra Experiment (ITEX), which today includes some 30 different research sites around the world. Latnjajajaure is one of two research stations that have been involved since the start of the ITEX experiment.

The Alpine and Polar Ecology Research Group (APE) at the University of Gothenburg acts as the scientific coordinator of the  Latnjajaure Field Station and is also the research group behind the short film, produced by Jonas Stenström. 

- In this short film you will learn about the long-term experiment started by Professor Ulf Molau at the University of Gothenburg in the early 1990s, which uses small, open-top chambers to raise the air temperature by 1-3 degrees, says Mats Björkman, researcher in Ecosystem Science at the University of Gothenburg and one of the  members of The Alpine and Polar Ecology Research Group.

- That is roughly equivalent to the temperature increase we expect between 2050 and 2080. In this short film, we present what this research experiment has taught us over the 30-year period. 

A joint global research experiment

The International Tundra Experiment (ITEX) is a global research project initiated by Professor Pat Webber in the 1980s when the first discussions on climate change began. The idea of the project is to have a joint experiment in many locations across the Arctic, where everyone uses the same experimental set-up. Throughout the years, ITEX has built an international network of experts who have initiated independent projects and field sites in different countries and different habitats across tundra ecosystems. Today, about 30 research sites around the world are connected to ITEX, conducting long-term and process-oriented laboratory experiments to increase knowledge about climate change in the Arctic and tundra plants.


Scientific paper on the 30-year ITEX experiment

"The International Tundra Experiment (ITEX): 30 years of research on tundra ecosystems." Arctic Science 2022.