Permafrost degradation within eastern chukotka calm sites in the 21st century based on CMIP5 climate models

Alexey Maslakov*, Natalia Shabanova, Dmitry Zamolodchikov, Vasili Volobuev, Gleb Kraev

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Permafrost degradation caused by contemporary climate change significantly affects arctic regions. Active layer thickening combined with the thaw subsidence of ice-rich sediments leads to irreversible transformation of permafrost conditions and activation of exogenous processes, such as active layer detachment, thermokarst and thermal erosion. Climatic and permafrost models combined with a field monitoring dataset enable the provision of predicted estimations of the active layer and permafrost characteristics. In this paper, we present the projections of active layer thickness and thaw subsidence values for two Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring (CALM) sites of Eastern Chukotka coastal plains. The calculated parameters were used for estimation of permafrost degradation rates in this region for the 21st century under various IPCC climate change scenarios. According to the studies, by the end of the century, the active layer will be 6–13% thicker than current values under the RCP (Representative Concentration Pathway) 2.6 climate scenario and 43–87% under RCP 8.5. This process will be accompanied by thaw subsidence with the rates of 0.4–3.7 cm·a−1. Summarized surface level lowering will have reached up to 5 times more than current active layer thickness. Total permafrost table lowering by the end of the century will be from 150 to 310 cm; however, it will not lead to non-merging permafrost formation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number232
JournalGeosciences (Switzerland)
Volume9
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019

Keywords

  • Active layer
  • CALM
  • Chukotka
  • CMIP5
  • Permafrost
  • Seasonal thaw modeling
  • Thaw subsidence

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