Frans-Jan W. Parmentier, Arctic Climate Scientist

Dr. Frans-Jan W. Parmentier
Arctic Climate Scientist
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 Arctic-boreal ecosystems. The Arctic-boreal region is experiencing much faster warming than the rest of the planet, which is causing large changes to its hydrology – such as a loss of snow cover and more frequent droughts. These changes affect plant growth and permafrost thaw, which in turn may cause a large loss of carbon from these systems. Because this may lead to a release of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere – possibly enhancing climate change – I study how and why the flows of water and carbon are changing.
In my research, I draw from a long experience in studying northern ecosystems in areas such as northeast Siberia, Greenland, Scandinavia and Svalbard. I use this broad field experience to derive new insights from satellite data and to advance model development. Besides my research activities, I am also active in public outreach as a regular columnist in the Norwegian newspaper Klassekampen, and I have been awarded the Fægri memorial prize for popular scientific communication.
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
In the past few years, I have been leading the Norwegian-Swedish research project WINTERPROOF (2018-2023) where two PhD students of mine improved the representation of snow dynamics, plant hydraulics and soil biogeochemistry in the models CLM-FATES and LPJ-GUESS. One of the main outcomes of this project is a reduced uncertainty in model projections of arctic climate feedbacks. See my list of publications for more project outcomes.
In addition, I am a contributor to expert assessments of AMAP, a working group of the Arctic Council. I have coordinated chapters on the 2015 report on methane and the 2021 assessment on short-lived climate forcers, and was 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 in the Netherlands 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 affects carbon cycle dynamics across the Arctic.
In 2016, I led a research project at the Norwegian Research Institute Nibio on the damaging impact of extreme winter events on ecosystem carbon exchange, 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, heading the WINTERPROOF project. After the conclusion of this project, I continued full time at the University of Oslo.