Midweek at AGU I also had a nice discussion with Jay Arnone, who I worked for as an intern at the Desert Research Institute just before starting grad school. Jay has a really amazing and unique facility at the Desert Research Institute that they call the EcoCELLs. The EcoCELLs are large mesocosms in which they can monitor large intact monoliths of soil (several cubic meters).
I told Jay he should pop some Arctic tundra in there since it would allow for some nicely controlled analyses of permafrost melt and other global change effects. Turns out he had already been working on getting this funded. I really think this would be awesome, adding a nice dimension to our understanding of arctic carbon balance that can’t be easily measured with either soil cores in the lab or field experiments. The ability to get carbon flux numbers at the same resolution as eddy flux on intact plants and soils undergoing temperature manipulations is not possible with other techniques and can provide some awesome data. Hope this happens!