Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Permafrost is thawing in northern Sweden

17.02.2009
Areas with lowland permafrost are likely to shrink in northern Sweden. Warmer summers and more winter precipitation are two of the reasons. This is shown in a new dissertation from Lund University in Sweden.

Permafrost is ground that is frozen year round at least two years in a row. North of the Arctic Circle permafrost is common due to the cold climate.

For several years, physical geographer Margareta Johansson at Lund University has studied lowland permafrost in peat mires surrounding Abisko. Permafrost is on the edge of its range there. Johansson states that permafrost is being affected by climate changes.

"At one of our sites, permafrost has completely disappeared from the greater part of the mire during the last decade," she says.

In areas where permafrost is thawing the ground becomes unstable and can collapse. This can be a local and regional problem in areas with cities and infrastructure. Moreover, the thaw can cause increased emissions of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane from the ground. Roughly 25 percent of all land surface in the northern hemisphere are underlain by permafrost.

The thawing of permafrost that occurs today is likely to continue, in Margareta Johansson's view. She regards it as probable that there will be no permafrost in lowland areas around Abisko in 50 years.

"With the present climate it is likely that the changes seen in permafrost in the Abisko area will also occur in other areas, and my study can therefore provide a basis for studies in other geographic areas that are next in line," she says.

Margareta Johansson's research shows that the permafrost in the Abisko area is thawing both from above and from below. From above it is thawing primarily because the summers have become warmer and because the snow cover has become thicker in winter. A thicker snow layer acts as an insulating blanket, which means that the ground does not get as cold as it would under a thinner layer of snow.

From below the permafrost is thawing probably as a result of greater mobility in the groundwater. Margareta Johansson explains that the annual precipitation of both rain and snow has increased dramatically during the last decade. More rain and more melted snow create more movement down in the groundwater, which thaws the permafrost. Between 1997 and 2007 a total of 362 millimeters of precipitation fell annually in Abisko, which is a 20-percent increase compared to the mean annual precipitation for the years 1961 and 1990.

The dissertation will be presented and defended at Lund University
on February 26, 2009.
For more information, please contact Margareta Johansson,
phone: +46-46 222 44 80 or margareta.johansson@nateko.lu.se.
Pressofficer Lena Björk Blixt,Lena.Bjork_Blixt@kanslin.lu.se
or +46-46 222 71 86

Lena Björk Blixt | idw
Further information:
http://www.vr.se

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht New insights into the ancestors of all complex life
29.05.2017 | University of Bristol

nachricht A 3-D look at the 2015 El Niño
29.05.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New Method of Characterizing Graphene

Scientists have developed a new method of characterizing graphene’s properties without applying disruptive electrical contacts, allowing them to investigate both the resistance and quantum capacitance of graphene and other two-dimensional materials. Researchers from the Swiss Nanoscience Institute and the University of Basel’s Department of Physics reported their findings in the journal Physical Review Applied.

Graphene consists of a single layer of carbon atoms. It is transparent, harder than diamond and stronger than steel, yet flexible, and a significantly better...

Im Focus: Strathclyde-led research develops world's highest gain high-power laser amplifier

The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.

The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

3D printer inks from the woods

30.05.2017 | Life Sciences

How circadian clocks communicate with each other

30.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Graphene and quantum dots put in motion a CMOS-integrated camera that can see the invisible

30.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>