Articles | Volume 12, issue 2
The Cryosphere, 12, 595–608, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-12-595-2018
The Cryosphere, 12, 595–608, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-12-595-2018

Research article 21 Feb 2018

Research article | 21 Feb 2018

Climate warming over the past half century has led to thermal degradation of permafrost on the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau

Youhua Ran et al.

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Approximately 88 % of the permafrost area in the 1960s has been thermally degraded in the past half century over the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau. The mean elevations of the very cold, cold, cool, warm, very warm, and likely thawing permafrost areas increased by 88 m, 97 m, 155 m, 185 m, 161 m, and 250 m, respectively. This degradation may lead to increases in risks to infrastructure, flood, reductions in ecosystem resilience, and positive climate feedback.