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Arctic Greening Thaws Permafrost, Boosts Runoff | High Sierra Backpacker

Arctic Greening Thaws Permafrost, Boosts Runoff


Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 18 October 2018

CLIMATE CHANGING RAPIDLY

More Permafrost Problems

Arctic greening thaws permafrost, boosts runoff,
DOE/Los Alamos National Laboratory, October 17, 2018.

MAIN POINTS

"...investigated Arctic shrub-snow interactions to obtain a better understanding of the far north's tundra and vast permafrost system."

Taliks
"...investigated interactions among shrubs, permafrost, and subsurface areas called taliks. Taliks are unfrozen ground near permafrost caused by a thermal or hydrological anomaly. Some tunnel-like taliks called "through taliks" extend over thick permafrost layers."

Massive Changes to Ancient Ecosystems
"...confirmed that shrubs can lead to significant degradation of the permafrost layer that has remained frozen for tens of thousands of years. These interactions are driving increases in discharges of fresh water into rivers, lakes and oceans."

Conclusion
"If the trend of increasing vegetation across the Arctic continues, we're likely to see a strong increase in permafrost degradation."

Through Taliks
"...through taliks developed where snow was trapped, warmed the ground and created a pathway for water to flow through deep permafrost, significantly driving thawing and likely increasing water and dissolved carbon flow to rivers, lakes and the ocean."

 

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