Frans-Jan W. Parmentier, Arctic Climate Scientist

Dr. Frans-Jan W. Parmentier
Senior Researcher in Ecohydrology
Centre for Biogeochemistry in the Anthropocene
Department of Geosciences
University of Oslo, Norway
Postboks 1022 Blindern
0315 Oslo, Norway
Research Interests
I am an ecohydrologist who studies the impact of climate change on the Arctic-Boreal region. The northernmost part of our planet is warming much faster than the rest of the world, which is causing an increase in disturbances such as extreme precipitation, droughts, and permafrost thaw. I focus on these changes since they affect the uptake of carbon by plants and its release from soils, potentially triggering a release of greenhouse gases that can act as a feedback on the global climate system.
In my work, I draw from a long experience in the field – from Svalbard to Greenland, Scandinavia and northeast Siberia – to derive new insights from satellite data and to advance model development. This has given me a broad understanding of the functioning of the carbon cycle in northern ecosystems, which I draw on as a regular columnist in the Norwegian newspaper Klassekampen, and in my role as an Associate Editor at the AGU journal JGR: Biogeosciences.
Adventdalen on Svalbard, one of my fieldwork areas. The cottongrass (Eriophorum scheuchzeri) pictured in the foreground typically occurs in wet areas and plays an important role in the emission of the potent greenhouse gas methane.
Recent Work
For the past couple of years, I have led the Norwegian-Swedish research project WINTERPROOF where my PhD students improved the representation of snow dynamics, plant hydraulics and soil biogeochemistry in the models CLM-FATES and LPJ-GUESS. This project significantly reduced the uncertainty in model projections of arctic carbon-climate feedbacks.
In addition, I am a contributor to a number of expert assessments of AMAP – a working group of the Arctic Council. I was a lead author on the 2015 report on methane and the 2021 assessment on short-lived climate forcers, as well as a contributing author on the SWIPA (2017) and Arctic climate change update 2021 reports.
Past Research Experience
I have worked at several research institutes in Scandinavia and the Netherlands in the past: I received my PhD in 2011 from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam for my dissertation on the drivers of greenhouse gas exchange from arctic tundra. I continued as a postdoc at Lund University in Sweden, where I studied how atmospheric warming from sea ice decline has affected carbon cycle dynamics across the Arctic.
In 2016, I led a research project at the Norwegian Research Institute Nibio on the impact of an extreme winter event on the carbon balance of a coastal peatland, which was followed by a research stay at UiT–The Arctic University of Norway in Tromsø. From 2018 to 2023, I had a shared research position between Lund University and the University of Oslo, while leading the WINTERPROOF project. After the conclusion of this project, I continued full time at the University of Oslo as a senior researcher.