Browsing by Subject "MOUNTAIN PERMAFROST"

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  • Karjalainen, Olli; Luoto, Miska; Aalto, Juha; Hjort, Jan (2019)
    The thermal state of permafrost affects Earth surface systems and human activity in the Arctic and has implications for global climate. Improved understanding of the local-scale variability in the global ground thermal regime is required to account for its sensitivity to changing climatic and geoecological conditions. Here, we statistically related observations of mean annual ground temperature (MAGT) and active-layer thickness (ALT) to high-resolution (similar to 1 km(2)) geospatial data of climatic and local environmental conditions across the Northern Hemisphere. The aim was to characterize the relative importance of key environmental factors and the magnitude and shape of their effects on MAGT and ALT. The multivariate models fitted well to both response variables with average R-2 values being similar to 0.94 and 0.78. Corresponding predictive performances in terms of root-mean-square error were similar to 1.31 degrees C and 87 cm. Freezing (FDD) and thawing (TDD) degree days were key factors for MAGT inside and outside the permafrost domain with average effect sizes of 6.7 and 13.6 degrees C, respectively. Soil properties had marginal effects on MAGT (effect size = 0.4-0.7 degrees C). For ALT, rainfall (effect size = 181 cm) and solar radiation (161 cm) were most influential. Analysis of variable importance further underlined the dominance of climate for MAGT and highlighted the role of solar radiation for ALT. Most response shapes for MAGT