dr. RI (Rúna) Magnússon

dr. RI (Rúna) Magnússon


I study the response of Arctic tundra ecosystems and permafrost to climate change. I focus on impacts of extreme rainfall events, which are occurring more and more often in the Arctic. After my PhD work in the remote lowland tundras of North-Eastern Siberia, I now study impacts of rainfall exremes on tundra ecosystem in Svalbard. www.runamagnusson.com


  • RESEARCH >>> Follow me on researchgate or linkedin.
  • T-REX Project >>> I use an experimental set up to mimick heavy rainfall events in Svalbard . Read about the experiment here.




  • PhD RESEARCH in SIBERIA >>> fieldwork blog for EU INTERACT 
  • APECS NETHERLANDS >>> Check the website for projects and events of interest to early career polar researchers in the Netherlands.


Warming in the Arctic

Global warming in high-latitude regions is three to four times stronger than the global average warming. Thawing of frozen soils (permafrost) underlying Northern ecosystems puts large quantities of perviously frozen soil carbon at risk of emission as greenhouse gases and affects growth conditions for tundra plants. At the same time, warming can result in enhanced growth of tundra vegetation, which could result in uptake of carbon from the atmosphere into plants and soils. Eventually, we want to have a better understanding of how carbon emisisons and uptake in a warming Arctic weigh out. To help understand this, I study how disturbance of the ground due to pemafrost thaw affects vegetation growth, and how vegetation growth in turn affects soil temperatures and permafrost. I also try to improve our understanding of the implications of future changes in precipitation (more droughts, but also more heavy rainfall events) for tundra vegetation and permafrost. Together with students I use methods ranging from satellite image analysis, field experiments and tree ring studies to assess how climate change, permafrost and vegetation affect eachother in Arctic tundra regions.