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Permafrost degradation on a warmer Earth: Challenges and perspectives
- Oliva, M., Fritz, M.
- Current opinion in environmental science & health 2018 v.5 pp. 14-18
- altitude, biogeochemical cycles, climate, ecosystems, environmental engineering, permafrost, socioeconomics, temperature, thawing, Polar Regions
- Permafrost, the permanently frozen ground, is warming due to global temperature rise. Permafrost research has progressed rapidly in the last decade, as large areas in the Polar Regions, in mountain environments and on high-altitude plateaus are experiencing accelerated environmental changes in response to thaw and permafrost degradation. Climate scenarios for the next decades project a reduced the extent of permafrost coverage and increasing ground temperatures, promoting changes in terrestrial and nearshore ecosystem dynamics. Future research in permafrost regions should focus on a better understanding of the biogeochemical cycles associated with abrupt and long-term permafrost degradation. Risk assessment of natural hazards and geoenvironmental engineering solutions are needed to reduce the potential dramatic socio-economic implications that permafrost degradation may entail in these regions.