Data on thermal conditions: Northern hemisphere modelled to accuracy of 1 km2
Understanding the thermal conditions of the ground in the Arctic is of utmost importance in order to assess the effects of climate change on the occurrence of permafrost, on the ecosystems and societies of Arctis, and the global climate system.
Juha Aalto and Miska Luoto, researchers in natural geography at the University of Helsinki, participated in this study. The findings of the study have been published in the international journal Geophysical Research Letters.
The research has been carried out by Juha Aalto and Miska Luoto (Department of Geosciences and Geography, University of Helsinki / Finnish Meteorological Institute), and Olli Karjalainen and Jan Hjort (Geography Research Unit, University of Oulu).
Support from statistical methods
The research modelled the temperatures of the ground and the thickness of the active layer, i.e. the layer above the permafrost, which thaws in summer. The study covered most of the northern hemisphere.
The modelling was based on a database combining very extensive field measurements and digital environmental data. The study utilised statistical ensemble methods with a spatial resolution of 1km2, an accuracy hitherto unseen.
"This is a significant step forward, as previous studies have only been able to provide a very general overview of the thermal conditions of Arctic ground and their changes," says Postdoctoral Researcher Juha Aalto.
Great changes in permafrost occurrence expected
According to the research findings, an area of around 15 million square kilometres contains favourable conditions for permafrost at the moment, taking modelling uncertainty into consideration.
"However, this area will shrink a great deal in future as a result of climate change," Aalto says.
Based on the best-case scenario for climate change (RCP2. 6), for example, conditions favourable to permafrost in the northern hemisphere will reduce with over one third by year 2050 as temperature and rain conditions change.
According to the worst-case scenario (RCP8. 5), areas favourable to permafrost would already have reduced by 47% at that point.
It is also remarkable that our models show that the relatively greatest changes will happen in areas where current soil temperatures are low, but the predicted climate change extensive. Such areas are e.g. the large permafrost areas in mid-Siberia," says Juha Aalto.
"The new data produced through the research will give us new opportunities to assess e.g. carbon cycle processes and the risks to the infrastructure posed by the permafrost melting," says Miska Luoto, professor in natural geography. The research is still on-going and more exact estimates of how the melting frost will affect such things as buildings and roads will be prepared.
The research is a collaboration between the University of Helsinki, the Finnish Meteorological Institute, and the University of Oulu, and is a part of the INFRAHAZARD project funded by the Academy of Finland. The project studies Arctic ground surface processes under climate change, and assesses the risks it poses to human activities.
Publication: Aalto, J., Karjalainen, O., Hjort, J., Luoto, M. Statistical forecasting of current and future circum-Arctic ground temperatures and active layer thickness. Geophysical Research Letters. doi: 10. 1029/2018GL078007
Open access to material from the study: Aalto, J., Karjalainen, O., Hjort, J., Luoto, M. (2018) Data from: Statistical forecasting of current and future circum-Arctic ground temperatures and active layer thickness. Dryad Digital Repository. https:/
Postdoctoral researcher Juha Aalto, University of Helsinki, Department of Geosciences and Geography / Meteorological Institute, Seasonal and Climate Applications, phone +358 50 448 0407, email@example.com
Professor Miska Luoto, University of Helsinki, Department of Geosciences and Geography, phone +358 9 191 50768, firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor Jan Hjort, University of Oulu, Geography Research Unit, phone +358 29 448 1704, email@example.com
Riitta-Leena Inki | EurekAlert!
Diving robots find Antarctic seas exhale surprising amounts of carbon dioxide in winter
16.08.2018 | National Science Foundation
Diving robots find Antarctic winter seas exhale surprising amounts of carbon dioxide
15.08.2018 | University of Washington
There are currently great hopes for solid-state batteries. They contain no liquid parts that could leak or catch fire. For this reason, they do not require cooling and are considered to be much safer, more reliable, and longer lasting than traditional lithium-ion batteries. Jülich scientists have now introduced a new concept that allows currents up to ten times greater during charging and discharging than previously described in the literature. The improvement was achieved by a “clever” choice of materials with a focus on consistently good compatibility. All components were made from phosphate compounds, which are well matched both chemically and mechanically.
The low current is considered one of the biggest hurdles in the development of solid-state batteries. It is the reason why the batteries take a relatively long...
New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference
Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...
Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
17.08.2018 | Event News
08.08.2018 | Event News
27.07.2018 | Event News
21.08.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
21.08.2018 | Life Sciences
21.08.2018 | Medical Engineering