Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Permafrost warming, monitoring improving

Date:
August 3, 2010
Source:
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Summary:
Permafrost warming continues throughout a wide swath of the Northern hemisphere, according to a team of scientists assembled during the recent International Polar Year.

University of Alaska Fairbanks Professor Vladimir Romanovsky measures permafrost temperature at a borehole in interior Alaska.
Credit: Photo by A. Kholodov.

Permafrost warming continues throughout a wide swath of the Northern Hemisphere, according to a team of scientists assembled during the recent International Polar Year.

Their extensive findings, published in the April-June 2010 edition of Permafrost and Periglacial Processes, describe the thermal state of high-latitude permafrost during the International Polar Year, 2007-2009. Vladimir Romanovsky, a professor with the snow, ice and permafrost group at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute, is the lead author of the paper, which also details the significant expansion of Northern Hemisphere permafrost monitoring.

"This paper is actually pretty unique," Romanovsky said, "because it's the first time such a large geographical area has been involved in one paper."

During the International Polar Year, Romanovsky and his colleagues launched a field campaign to improve the existing permafrost-monitoring network. The permafrost thermal state is monitored with borehole sensors, which gather data from holes drilled deep into the permafrost. The researchers established nearly 300 borehole sites that serve as permafrost observatories across the polar and sub-polar regions in the Northern Hemisphere. Their work more than doubled the size of the previously existing network

"The heart of monitoring is the measuring of temperatures in boreholes," Romanovsky said. "For permafrost temperatures, you have to be there. You have to establish boreholes."

Having data from across the circumpolar North allows scientists to analyze trends affecting permafrost. The article notes that permafrost temperatures have warmed as much as two degrees Celsius from 20 to 30 years ago. They also found that permafrost near zero degrees Celsius warmed more slowly than colder permafrost. According to Romanovsky, this trend is an example of the large-scale analysis possible using data from the expanded network.

The enlarged and revamped observatory network is meant to be a building block for further research. It also has the potential to foster better modeling of future conditions and act as an early warning system of the negative consequences of climate change in permafrost regions. That could, in turn, help policymakers and the public plan for a future with warmer permafrost.

Romanovsky, whose specialty is Russian and North American permafrost conditions, plans to keep building on the legacy of the International Polar Year. With help from a five-year National Science Foundation grant, he continues his collaboration with American and international colleagues, establishing new borehole sites in undersampled areas and analyzing trends evidenced by the newly available data.

The Fourth International Polar Year was a two-year event that began in March of 2007 and focused the attention of the international research community on the Earth's polar regions. UAF researchers were heavily involved in IPY projects and are still analyzing data from those projects.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Alaska Fairbanks. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Alaska Fairbanks. "Permafrost warming, monitoring improving." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 August 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100803101924.htm>.
University of Alaska Fairbanks. (2010, August 3). Permafrost warming, monitoring improving. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100803101924.htm
University of Alaska Fairbanks. "Permafrost warming, monitoring improving." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100803101924.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Climate Change Rally Held in India Ahead of UN Summit

Climate Change Rally Held in India Ahead of UN Summit

AFP (Sep. 20, 2014) Some 125 world leaders are expected to commit to action on climate change at a UN summit Tuesday called to inject momentum in struggling efforts to tackle global warming. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) Jars, bottles, caps and even a pizza box, recovered from the trash, were the elements used by four musical groups at the "RSFEST2014 Sonorities Recycling Festival", in Colombian city of Cali. Duration: 00:49 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Wildfires in CA Burn Forest Asunder

Raw: Wildfires in CA Burn Forest Asunder

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) An out-of-control Northern California wildfire has nearly 2,800 people from their homes as it continues to grow, authorities said Thursday. Authorities said a man has been arrested on suspicion of arson for starting the fire on Saturday. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) Grand the elephant has successfully undergone surgery to remove a portion of infected tusk at Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia. British veterinary surgeons used an electric drill to extract the infected piece. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins