Articles | Volume 5, issue 4
The Cryosphere, 5, 1043–1056, 2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article 24 Nov 2011
Research article | 24 Nov 2011
Permafrost degradation risk zone assessment using simulation models
R. P. Daanen et al.
Related subject area
Frozen GroundPassive seismic recording of cryoseisms in Adventdalen, SvalbardProjecting circum-Arctic excess-ground-ice melt with a sub-grid representation in the Community Land ModelGround ice, organic carbon and soluble cations in tundra permafrost soils and sediments near a Laurentide ice divide in the Slave Geological Province, Northwest Territories, CanadaThe ERA5-Land soil temperature bias in permafrost regionsBrief Communication: The reliability of gas extraction techniques for analysing CH4 and N2O compositions in gas trapped in permafrost ice wedgesGeochemical signatures of pingo ice and its origin in Grøndalen, west SpitsbergenMountain permafrost degradation documented through a network of permanent electrical resistivity tomography sitesPermafrost variability over the Northern Hemisphere based on the MERRA-2 reanalysisDistinguishing ice-rich and ice-poor permafrost to map ground temperatures and ground ice occurrence in the Swiss AlpsNew ground ice maps for Canada using a paleogeographic modelling approachOrigin, burial and preservation of late Pleistocene-age glacier ice in Arctic permafrost (Bylot Island, NU, Canada)Characteristics and fate of isolated permafrost patches in coastal Labrador, CanadaRock glaciers in Daxue Shan, south-eastern Tibetan Plateau: an inventory, their distribution, and their environmental controlsMicrotopographic control on the ground thermal regime in ice wedge polygonsChange in frozen soils and its effect on regional hydrology, upper Heihe basin, northeastern Qinghai–Tibetan PlateauClimate warming over the past half century has led to thermal degradation of permafrost on the Qinghai–Tibet PlateauDecadal changes of surface elevation over permafrost area estimated using reflected GPS signalsCharacterizing permafrost active layer dynamics and sensitivity to landscape spatial heterogeneity in AlaskaResolution capacity of geophysical monitoring regarding permafrost degradation induced by hydrological processesA new map of permafrost distribution on the Tibetan PlateauDistinguishing between old and modern permafrost sources in the northeast Siberian land–shelf system with compound-specific δ2H analysisModelling rock wall permafrost degradation in the Mont Blanc massif from the LIA to the end of the 21st centuryNew observations indicate the possible presence of permafrost in North Africa (Djebel Toubkal, High Atlas, Morocco)Transient modeling of the ground thermal conditions using satellite data in the Lena River delta, SiberiaWind-driven snow conditions control the occurrence of contemporary marginal mountain permafrost in the Chic-Choc Mountains, south-eastern Canada: a case study from Mont Jacques-CartierNumerical modelling of convective heat transport by air flow in permafrost talus slopesCryostratigraphy, sedimentology, and the late Quaternary evolution of the Zackenberg River delta, northeast GreenlandResponse of seasonal soil freeze depth to climate change across ChinaSoil moisture redistribution and its effect on inter-annual active layer temperature and thickness variations in a dry loess terrace in Adventdalen, SvalbardReview article: Inferring permafrost and permafrost thaw in the mountains of the Hindu Kush Himalaya regionStrong degradation of palsas and peat plateaus in northern Norway during the last 60 yearsWeichselian permafrost depth in the Netherlands: a comprehensive uncertainty and sensitivity analysisSemi-automated calibration method for modelling of mountain permafrost evolution in SwitzerlandPresence of rapidly degrading permafrost plateaus in south-central AlaskaModeling the spatiotemporal variability in subsurface thermal regimes across a low-relief polygonal tundra landscapeThermal impacts of engineering activities and vegetation layer on permafrost in different alpine ecosystems of the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau, ChinaEffects of stratified active layers on high-altitude permafrost warming: a case study on the Qinghai–Tibet PlateauCoastal dynamics and submarine permafrost in shallow water of the central Laptev Sea, East SiberiaDiagnostic and model dependent uncertainty of simulated Tibetan permafrost areaSimulated high-latitude soil thermal dynamics during the past 4 decadesAssessment of permafrost distribution maps in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region using rock glaciers mapped in Google EarthBrief Communication: Future avenues for permafrost science from the perspective of early career researchersImpact of model developments on present and future simulations of permafrost in a global land-surface modelChanges in the timing and duration of the near-surface soil freeze/thaw status from 1956 to 2006 across ChinaA ground temperature map of the North Atlantic permafrost region based on remote sensing and reanalysis dataThe influence of surface characteristics, topography and continentality on mountain permafrost in British ColumbiaSensitivity of airborne geophysical data to sublacustrine and near-surface permafrost thawDissolved organic carbon (DOC) in Arctic ground iceFuture permafrost conditions along environmental gradients in Zackenberg, GreenlandWarming permafrost and active layer variability at Cime Bianche, Western European Alps
Rowan Romeyn, Alfred Hanssen, Bent Ole Ruud, Helene Meling Stemland, and Tor Arne Johansen
The Cryosphere, 15, 283–302,Short summary
A series of unusual ground motion signatures were identified in geophone recordings at a frost polygon site in Adventdalen on Svalbard. By analysing where the ground motion originated in time and space, we are able to classify them as cryoseisms, also known as frost quakes, a ground-cracking phenomenon that occurs as a result of freezing processes. The waves travelling through the ground produced by these frost quakes also allow us to measure the structure of the permafrost in the near surface.
Lei Cai, Hanna Lee, Kjetil Schanke Aas, and Sebastian Westermann
The Cryosphere, 14, 4611–4626,Short summary
A sub-grid representation of excess ground ice in the Community Land Model (CLM) is developed as novel progress in modeling permafrost thaw and its impacts under the warming climate. The modeled permafrost degradation with sub-grid excess ice follows the pathway that continuous permafrost transforms into discontinuous permafrost before it disappears, including surface subsidence and talik formation, which are highly permafrost-relevant landscape changes excluded from most land models.
Rupesh Subedi, Steven V. Kokelj, and Stephan Gruber
The Cryosphere, 14, 4341–4364,Short summary
Permafrost beneath tundra near Lac de Gras (Northwest Territories, Canada) contains more ice and less organic carbon than shown in global compilations. Excess-ice content of 20–60 %, likely remnant Laurentide basal ice, is found in upland till. This study is based on 24 boreholes up to 10 m deep. Findings highlight geology and glacial legacy as determinants of a mosaic of permafrost characteristics with potential for thaw subsidence up to several metres in some locations.
Bin Cao, Stephan Gruber, Donghai Zheng, and Xin Li
The Cryosphere, 14, 2581–2595,Short summary
This study reports that ERA5-Land (ERA5L) soil temperature bias in permafrost regions correlates with the bias in air temperature and with maximum snow height. While global reanalyses are important drivers for permafrost study, ERA5L soil data are not well suited for directly informing permafrost research decision making due to their warm bias in winter. To address this, future soil temperature products in reanalyses will require permafrost-specific alterations to their land surface models.
Ji-Woong Yang, Jinho Ahn, Go Iwahana, Sangyoung Han, Kyungmin Kim, and Alexander Fedorov
The Cryosphere, 14, 1311–1324,Short summary
Thawing permafrost may lead to decomposition of soil carbon and nitrogen and emission of greenhouse gases. Thus, methane and nitrous oxide compositions in ground ice may provide information on their production mechanisms in permafrost. We test conventional wet and dry extraction methods. We find that both methods extract gas from the easily extractable parts of the ice and yield similar results for mixing ratios. However, both techniques are unable to fully extract gas from the ice.
Nikita Demidov, Sebastian Wetterich, Sergey Verkulich, Aleksey Ekaykin, Hanno Meyer, Mikhail Anisimov, Lutz Schirrmeister, Vasily Demidov, and Andrew J. Hodson
The Cryosphere, 13, 3155–3169,Short summary
As Norwegian geologist Liestøl (1996) recognised,
in connection with formation of pingos there are a great many unsolved questions. Drillings and temperature measurements through the pingo mound and also through the surrounding permafrost are needed before the problems can be better understood. To shed light on pingo formation here we present the results of first drilling of pingo on Spitsbergen together with results of detailed hydrochemical and stable-isotope studies of massive-ice samples.
Coline Mollaret, Christin Hilbich, Cécile Pellet, Adrian Flores-Orozco, Reynald Delaloye, and Christian Hauck
The Cryosphere, 13, 2557–2578,Short summary
We present a long-term multisite electrical resistivity tomography monitoring network (more than 1000 datasets recorded from six mountain permafrost sites). Despite harsh and remote measurement conditions, the datasets are of good quality and show consistent spatio-temporal variations yielding significant added value to point-scale borehole information. Observed long-term trends are similar for all permafrost sites, showing ongoing permafrost thaw and ground ice loss due to climatic conditions.
Jing Tao, Randal D. Koster, Rolf H. Reichle, Barton A. Forman, Yuan Xue, Richard H. Chen, and Mahta Moghaddam
The Cryosphere, 13, 2087–2110,Short summary
The active layer thickness (ALT) in middle-to-high northern latitudes from 1980 to 2017 was produced at 81 km2 resolution by a global land surface model (NASA's CLSM) with forcing fields from a reanalysis data set, MERRA-2. The simulated permafrost distribution and ALTs agree reasonably well with an observation-based map and in situ measurements, respectively. The accumulated above-freezing air temperature and maximum snow water equivalent explain most of the year-to-year variability of ALT.
Robert Kenner, Jeannette Noetzli, Martin Hoelzle, Hugo Raetzo, and Marcia Phillips
The Cryosphere, 13, 1925–1941,Short summary
A new permafrost mapping method distinguishes between ice-poor and ice-rich permafrost. The approach was tested for the entire Swiss Alps and highlights the dominating influence of the factors elevation and solar radiation on the distribution of ice-poor permafrost. Our method enabled the indication of mean annual ground temperatures and the cartographic representation of permafrost-free belts, which are bounded above by ice-poor permafrost and below by permafrost-containing excess ice.
H. Brendan O'Neill, Stephen A. Wolfe, and Caroline Duchesne
The Cryosphere, 13, 753–773,Short summary
In this paper, we present new models to depict ground ice in permafrost in Canada, incorporating knowledge from recent studies. The model outputs we present reproduce observed regional ground ice conditions and are generally comparable with previous mapping. However, our results are more detailed and more accurately reflect ground ice conditions in many regions. The new mapping is an important step toward understanding terrain response to permafrost degradation in Canada.
Stephanie Coulombe, Daniel Fortier, Denis Lacelle, Mikhail Kanevskiy, and Yuri Shur
The Cryosphere, 13, 97–111,Short summary
This study provides a detailed description of relict glacier ice preserved in the permafrost of Bylot Island (Nunavut). We demonstrate that the 18O composition (-34.0 0.4 ‰) of the ice is consistent with the late Pleistocene age ice in the Barnes Ice Cap. As most of the glaciated Arctic landscapes are still strongly determined by their glacial legacy, the melting of these large ice bodies could have significant impacts on permafrost geosystem landscape dynamics and ecosystems.
Robert G. Way, Antoni G. Lewkowicz, and Yu Zhang
The Cryosphere, 12, 2667–2688,Short summary
Isolated patches of permafrost in southeast Labrador are among the southernmost lowland permafrost features in Canada. Local characteristics at six sites were investigated from Cartwright, NL (~ 54° N) to Blanc-Sablon, QC (~ 51° N). Annual ground temperatures varied from −0.7 °C to −2.3 °C with permafrost thicknesses of 1.7–12 m. Ground temperatures modelled for two sites showed permafrost disappearing at the southern site by 2060 and persistence beyond 2100 at the northern site only for RCP2.6.
Zeze Ran and Gengnian Liu
The Cryosphere, 12, 2327–2340,Short summary
This article provides the first rock glacier inventory of Daxue Shan, south- eastern Tibetan Plateau. This study provides important data for exploring the relation between maritime periglacial environments and the development of rock glaciers on the south-eastern Tibetan Plateau (TP). It may also highlight the characteristics typical of rock glaciers found in a maritime setting.
Charles J. Abolt, Michael H. Young, Adam L. Atchley, and Dylan R. Harp
The Cryosphere, 12, 1957–1968,Short summary
We investigate the relationship between ice wedge polygon topography and near-surface ground temperature using a combination of field work and numerical modeling. We analyze a year-long record of ground temperature across a low-centered polygon, then demonstrate that lower rims and deeper troughs promote warmer conditions in the ice wedge in winter. This finding implies that ice wedge cracking and growth, which are driven by cold conditions, can be impeded by rim erosion or trough subsidence.
Bing Gao, Dawen Yang, Yue Qin, Yuhan Wang, Hongyi Li, Yanlin Zhang, and Tingjun Zhang
The Cryosphere, 12, 657–673,Short summary
This study developed a distributed hydrological model coupled with cryospherical processes and applied it in order to simulate the long-term change of frozen ground and its effect on hydrology in the upper Heihe basin. Results showed that the permafrost area shrank by 8.8%, and the frozen depth of seasonally frozen ground decreased. Runoff in cold seasons and annual liquid soil moisture increased due to frozen soils change. Groundwater recharge was enhanced due to the degradation of permafrost.
Youhua Ran, Xin Li, and Guodong Cheng
The Cryosphere, 12, 595–608,Short summary
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.
Lin Liu and Kristine M. Larson
The Cryosphere, 12, 477–489,Short summary
We demonstrate the use of reflected GPS signals to measure elevation changes over a permafrost area in northern Alaska. For the first time, we construct a daily-sampled time series of elevation changes over 12 summers. Our results show regular thaw subsidence within each summer and a secular subsidence trend of 0.3 cm per year. This method promises a new way to utilize GPS data in cold regions for studying frozen ground consistently and sustainably over a long time.
Yonghong Yi, John S. Kimball, Richard H. Chen, Mahta Moghaddam, Rolf H. Reichle, Umakant Mishra, Donatella Zona, and Walter C. Oechel
The Cryosphere, 12, 145–161,Short summary
An important feature of the Arctic is large spatial heterogeneity in active layer conditions. We developed a modeling framework integrating airborne longwave radar and satellite data to investigate active layer thickness (ALT) sensitivity to landscape heterogeneity in Alaska. We find uncertainty in spatial and vertical distribution of soil organic carbon is the largest factor affecting ALT accuracy. Advances in remote sensing of soil conditions will enable more accurate ALT predictions.
Benjamin Mewes, Christin Hilbich, Reynald Delaloye, and Christian Hauck
The Cryosphere, 11, 2957–2974,
Defu Zou, Lin Zhao, Yu Sheng, Ji Chen, Guojie Hu, Tonghua Wu, Jichun Wu, Changwei Xie, Xiaodong Wu, Qiangqiang Pang, Wu Wang, Erji Du, Wangping Li, Guangyue Liu, Jing Li, Yanhui Qin, Yongping Qiao, Zhiwei Wang, Jianzong Shi, and Guodong Cheng
The Cryosphere, 11, 2527–2542,Short summary
The area and distribution of permafrost on the Tibetan Plateau are unclear and controversial. This paper generated a benchmark map based on the modified remote sensing products and validated it using ground-based data sets. Compared with two existing maps, the new map performed better and showed that permafrost covered areas of 1.06 × 106 km2. The results provide more detailed information on the permafrost distribution and basic data for use in future research on the Tibetan Plateau permafrost.
Jorien E. Vonk, Tommaso Tesi, Lisa Bröder, Henry Holmstrand, Gustaf Hugelius, August Andersson, Oleg Dudarev, Igor Semiletov, and Örjan Gustafsson
The Cryosphere, 11, 1879–1895,
Florence Magnin, Jean-Yves Josnin, Ludovic Ravanel, Julien Pergaud, Benjamin Pohl, and Philip Deline
The Cryosphere, 11, 1813–1834,Short summary
Permafrost degradation in high mountain rock walls provokes destabilisation, constituting a threat for human activities. In the Mont Blanc massif, more than 700 rockfalls have been inventoried in recent years (2003, 2007–2015). Understanding permafrost evolution is thus crucial to sustain this densely populated area. This study investigates the changes in rock wall permafrost from 1850 to the recent period and possible optimistic or pessimistic evolutions during the 21st century.
Gonçalo Vieira, Carla Mora, and Ali Faleh
The Cryosphere, 11, 1691–1705,Short summary
The Toubkal is the highest massif in North Africa (4167 m). Landforms and deposits above 3000 m show the effects of frost action in the present-day geomorphological dynamics, but data on ground temperatures were lacking. In this study ground surface temperature data measured across an altitudinal transect are presented and analysed for the first time. The highlight is the possible occurrence of permafrost at an elevation of 3800 m, which may be of high ecological and hydrological significance.
Sebastian Westermann, Maria Peter, Moritz Langer, Georg Schwamborn, Lutz Schirrmeister, Bernd Etzelmüller, and Julia Boike
The Cryosphere, 11, 1441–1463,Short summary
We demonstrate a remote-sensing-based scheme estimating the evolution of ground temperature and active layer thickness by means of a ground thermal model. A comparison to in situ observations from the Lena River delta in Siberia indicates that the model is generally capable of reproducing the annual temperature regime and seasonal thawing of the ground. The approach could hence be a first step towards remote detection of ground thermal conditions in permafrost areas.
Gautier Davesne, Daniel Fortier, Florent Domine, and James T. Gray
The Cryosphere, 11, 1351–1370,Short summary
This study presents data from Mont Jacques-Cartier, the highest summit in the Appalachians of south-eastern Canada, to demonstrate that the occurrence of contemporary permafrost body is associated with a very thin and wind-packed winter snow cover which brings local azonal topo-climatic conditions on the dome-shaped summit. This study is an important preliminary step in modelling the regional spatial distribution of permafrost on the highest summits in eastern North America.
Jonas Wicky and Christian Hauck
The Cryosphere, 11, 1311–1325,Short summary
Talus slopes are a widespread geomorphic feature, which may show permafrost conditions even at low elevation due to cold microclimates induced by a gravity-driven internal air circulation. We show for the first time a numerical simulation of this internal air circulation of a field-scale talus slope. Results indicate that convective heat transfer leads to a pronounced ground cooling in the lower part of the talus slope favoring the persistence of permafrost.
Graham L. Gilbert, Stefanie Cable, Christine Thiel, Hanne H. Christiansen, and Bo Elberling
The Cryosphere, 11, 1265–1282,Short summary
We reconstruct the Holocene development of the Zackenberg River delta (northeast Greenland) using a combination of sedimentology, cryostratigraphy, and geochronology. We distinguish four major depositional environments and identify three cryofacies. We apply the principles of cryostratigraphy to infer the aggradational history of permafrost. This paper contains an archive of ground ice in epigenetic permafrost in northeast Greenland.
Xiaoqing Peng, Tingjun Zhang, Oliver W. Frauenfeld, Kang Wang, Bin Cao, Xinyue Zhong, Hang Su, and Cuicui Mu
The Cryosphere, 11, 1059–1073,Short summary
Previous research has paid significant attention to permafrost, e.g. active layer thickness, soil temperature, area extent, and associated degradation leading to other changes. However, less focus has been given to seasonally frozen ground and vast area extent. We combined data from more than 800 observation stations, as well as gridded data, to investigate soil freeze depth across China. The results indicate that soil freeze depth decreases with climate warming.
Carina Schuh, Andrew Frampton, and Hanne Hvidtfeldt Christiansen
The Cryosphere, 11, 635–651,Short summary
This study investigates how soil moisture retention characteristics impact ice and moisture redistribution, heat transport and active layer thickness under permafrost conditions. This is relevant for understanding how climate change interacts with permafrost, which is important because there is much stored carbon in permafrost, which may be released to the atmosphere as permafrost degrades and may then act to further enhance climate warming.
Stephan Gruber, Renate Fleiner, Emilie Guegan, Prajjwal Panday, Marc-Olivier Schmid, Dorothea Stumm, Philippus Wester, Yinsheng Zhang, and Lin Zhao
The Cryosphere, 11, 81–99,Short summary
We review what can be inferred about permafrost in the mountains of the Hindu Kush Himalaya region. This is important because the area of permafrost exceeds that of glaciers in this region. Climate change will produce diverse permafrost-related impacts on vegetation, water quality, geohazards, and livelihoods. To mitigate this, a better understanding of high-elevation permafrost in subtropical latitudes as well as the pathways connecting environmental change and human livelihoods, is needed.
Amund F. Borge, Sebastian Westermann, Ingvild Solheim, and Bernd Etzelmüller
The Cryosphere, 11, 1–16,Short summary
Palsas and peat plateaus are permafrost landforms in subarctic mires which constitute sensitive ecosystems with strong significance for vegetation, wildlife, hydrology and carbon cycle. We have systematically mapped the occurrence of palsas and peat plateaus in northern Norway by interpretation of aerial images from the 1950s until today. The results show that about half of the area of palsas and peat plateaus has disappeared due to lateral erosion and melting of ground ice in the last 50 years.
Joan Govaerts, Koen Beerten, and Johan ten Veen
The Cryosphere, 10, 2907–2922,Short summary
The Rupelian Clay in the Netherlands is currently the subject of a feasibility study with respect to the storage of radioactive waste in the Netherlands (OPERA-project). Many features need to be considered in the assessment of the long-term evolution of the natural environment surrounding a geological waste disposal facility. One of these is permafrost development since it may have an impact on various components of the disposal system.
Antoine Marmy, Jan Rajczak, Reynald Delaloye, Christin Hilbich, Martin Hoelzle, Sven Kotlarski, Christophe Lambiel, Jeannette Noetzli, Marcia Phillips, Nadine Salzmann, Benno Staub, and Christian Hauck
The Cryosphere, 10, 2693–2719,Short summary
This paper presents a new semi-automated method to calibrate the 1-D soil model COUP. It is the first time (as far as we know) that this approach is developed for mountain permafrost. It is applied at six test sites in the Swiss Alps. In a second step, the calibrated model is used for RCM-based simulations with specific downscaling of RCM data to the borehole scale. We show projections of the permafrost evolution at the six sites until the end of the century and according to the A1B scenario.
Benjamin M. Jones, Carson A. Baughman, Vladimir E. Romanovsky, Andrew D. Parsekian, Esther L. Babcock, Eva Stephani, Miriam C. Jones, Guido Grosse, and Edward E. Berg
The Cryosphere, 10, 2673–2692,Short summary
We combined field data collection with remote sensing data to document the presence and rapid degradation of permafrost in south-central Alaska during 1950–present. Ground temperature measurements confirmed permafrost presence in the region, but remotely sensed images showed that permafrost plateau extent decreased by 60 % since 1950. Better understanding these vulnerable permafrost deposits is important for predicting future permafrost extent across all permafrost regions that are warming.
Jitendra Kumar, Nathan Collier, Gautam Bisht, Richard T. Mills, Peter E. Thornton, Colleen M. Iversen, and Vladimir Romanovsky
The Cryosphere, 10, 2241–2274,Short summary
Microtopography of the low-gradient polygonal tundra plays a critical role in these ecosystem; however, patterns and drivers are poorly understood. A modeling-based approach was developed in this study to characterize and represent the permafrost soils in the model and simulate the thermal dynamics using a mechanistic high-resolution model. Results shows the ability of the model to simulate the patterns and variability of thermal regimes and improve our understanding of polygonal tundra.
Qingbai Wu, Zhongqiong Zhang, Siru Gao, and Wei Ma
The Cryosphere, 10, 1695–1706,
Xicai Pan, Yanping Li, Qihao Yu, Xiaogang Shi, Daqing Yang, and Kurt Roth
The Cryosphere, 10, 1591–1603,Short summary
Using a 9-year dataset in conjunction with a process-based model, we verify that the common assumption of a considerably smaller thermal conductivity in the thawed season than the frozen season is not valid at a site with a stratified active layer on the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau (QTP). The unique hydraulic and thermal mechanism in the active layer challenges the concept of thermal offset used in conceptual permafrost models and hints at the reason for rapid permafrost warming on the QTP.
Pier Paul Overduin, Sebastian Wetterich, Frank Günther, Mikhail N. Grigoriev, Guido Grosse, Lutz Schirrmeister, Hans-Wolfgang Hubberten, and Aleksandr Makarov
The Cryosphere, 10, 1449–1462,Short summary
How fast does permafrost warm up and thaw after it is covered by the sea? Ice-rich permafrost in the Laptev Sea, Siberia, is rapidly eroded by warm air and waves. We used a floating electrical technique to measure the depth of permafrost thaw below the sea, and compared it to 60 years of coastline retreat and permafrost depths from drilling 30 years ago. Thaw is rapid right after flooding of the land and slows over time. The depth of permafrost is related to how fast the coast retreats.
W. Wang, A. Rinke, J. C. Moore, X. Cui, D. Ji, Q. Li, N. Zhang, C. Wang, S. Zhang, D. M. Lawrence, A. D. McGuire, W. Zhang, C. Delire, C. Koven, K. Saito, A. MacDougall, E. Burke, and B. Decharme
The Cryosphere, 10, 287–306,Short summary
We use a model-ensemble approach for simulating permafrost on the Tibetan Plateau. We identify the uncertainties across models (state-of-the-art land surface models) and across methods (most commonly used methods to define permafrost).
We differentiate between uncertainties stemming from climatic driving data or from physical process parameterization, and show how these uncertainties vary seasonally and inter-annually, and how estimates are subject to the definition of permafrost used.
We differentiate between uncertainties stemming from climatic driving data or from physical process parameterization, and show how these uncertainties vary seasonally and inter-annually, and how estimates are subject to the definition of permafrost used.
S. Peng, P. Ciais, G. Krinner, T. Wang, I. Gouttevin, A. D. McGuire, D. Lawrence, E. Burke, X. Chen, B. Decharme, C. Koven, A. MacDougall, A. Rinke, K. Saito, W. Zhang, R. Alkama, T. J. Bohn, C. Delire, T. Hajima, D. Ji, D. P. Lettenmaier, P. A. Miller, J. C. Moore, B. Smith, and T. Sueyoshi
The Cryosphere, 10, 179–192,Short summary
Soil temperature change is a key indicator of the dynamics of permafrost. Using nine process-based ecosystem models with permafrost processes, a large spread of soil temperature trends across the models. Air temperature and longwave downward radiation are the main drivers of soil temperature trends. Based on an emerging observation constraint method, the total boreal near-surface permafrost area decrease comprised between 39 ± 14 × 103 and 75 ± 14 × 103 km2 yr−1 from 1960 to 2000.
M.-O. Schmid, P. Baral, S. Gruber, S. Shahi, T. Shrestha, D. Stumm, and P. Wester
The Cryosphere, 9, 2089–2099,Short summary
The extent and distribution of permafrost in the mountainous parts of the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region are largely unknown. This article provides a first-order assessment of the two available permafrost maps in the HKH region based on the mapping of rock glaciers in Google Earth. The Circum-Arctic Map of Permafrost and Ground Ice Conditions does not reproduce mapped conditions in the HKH region adequately, whereas the Global Permafrost Zonation Index does so with more success.
M. Fritz, B. N. Deshpande, F. Bouchard, E. Högström, J. Malenfant-Lepage, A. Morgenstern, A. Nieuwendam, M. Oliva, M. Paquette, A. C. A. Rudy, M. B. Siewert, Y. Sjöberg, and S. Weege
The Cryosphere, 9, 1715–1720,Short summary
This is a contribution about the future of permafrost research to the 3rd International Conference on Arctic Research Planning 2015 (ICARP III). We summarize the top five research questions for the next decade of permafrost science from the perspective of early career researchers (ECRs). We highlight the pathways and structural preconditions to address these research priorities. This manuscript is an outcome of a community consultation conducted for and by ECRs on a global level.
S. E. Chadburn, E. J. Burke, R. L. H. Essery, J. Boike, M. Langer, M. Heikenfeld, P. M. Cox, and P. Friedlingstein
The Cryosphere, 9, 1505–1521,Short summary
In this paper we use a global land-surface model to study the dynamics of Arctic permafrost. We examine the impact of new and improved processes in the model, namely soil depth and resolution, organic soils, moss and the representation of snow. These improvements make the simulated soil temperatures and thaw depth significantly more realistic. Simulations under future climate scenarios show that permafrost thaws more slowly in the new model version, but still a large amount is lost by 2100.
K. Wang, T. Zhang, and X. Zhong
The Cryosphere, 9, 1321–1331,
S. Westermann, T. I. Østby, K. Gisnås, T. V. Schuler, and B. Etzelmüller
The Cryosphere, 9, 1303–1319,Short summary
We use remotely sensed land surface temperature and land cover in conjunction with air temperature and snowfall from a reanalysis product as input for a simple permafrost model. The scheme is applied to the permafrost regions bordering the North Atlantic. A comparison with ground temperatures in boreholes suggests a modeling accuracy of 2 to 2.5 °C.
A. Hasler, M. Geertsema, V. Foord, S. Gruber, and J. Noetzli
The Cryosphere, 9, 1025–1038,Short summary
In this paper we describe surface and thermal offsets derived from distributed measurements at seven field sites in British Columbia. Key findings are i) a small variation of the surface offsets between surface types; ii) small thermal offsets at all sites; iii) a clear influence of the micro-topography due to snow cover effects; iv) a north--south difference of the surface offset of 4°C in vertical bedrock and of 1.5–-3°C on open gentle slopes; v) only small macroclimatic differences.
B. J. Minsley, T. P. Wellman, M. A. Walvoord, and A. Revil
The Cryosphere, 9, 781–794,
M. Fritz, T. Opel, G. Tanski, U. Herzschuh, H. Meyer, A. Eulenburg, and H. Lantuit
The Cryosphere, 9, 737–752,Short summary
Ground ice in permafrost has not, until now, been considered to be a source of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and other elements that are important for ecosystems and carbon cycling. Ice wedges in the Arctic Yedoma region hold 45.2 Tg DOC (Tg = 10^12g), 33.6 Tg DIC and a freshwater reservoir of 4200 km³. Leaching of terrestrial organic matter is the most relevant process of DOC sequestration into ground ice.
S. Westermann, B. Elberling, S. Højlund Pedersen, M. Stendel, B. U. Hansen, and G. E. Liston
The Cryosphere, 9, 719–735,Short summary
The development of ground temperatures in permafrost areas is influenced by many factors varying on different spatial and temporal scales. We present numerical simulations of ground temperatures for the Zackenberg valley in NE Greenland, which take into account the spatial variability of snow depths, surface and ground properties at a scale of 10m. The ensemble of the model grid cells suggests a spatial variability of annual average ground temperatures of up to 5°C.
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The Cryosphere, 9, 647–661,Short summary
This study presents the thermal state and recent evolution of permafrost at Cime Bianche. The analysis reveals that (i) spatial variability of MAGST is greater than its interannual variability and is controlled by snow duration and air temperature during the snow-free period, (ii) the ALT has a pronounced spatial variability caused by a different subsurface ice and water content, and (iii) permafrost is warming at significant rates below 8m of depth.
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