Degrading permafrost puts Arctic infrastructure at risk by mid-century

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/275481

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Hjort , J , Karjalainen , O , Aalto , J A , Westermann , S , Romanovsky , V , Nelson , F , Etzelmüller , B & Luoto , M 2018 , ' Degrading permafrost puts Arctic infrastructure at risk by mid-century ' , Nature Communications , vol. 9 , 5147 . https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-07557-4

Title: Degrading permafrost puts Arctic infrastructure at risk by mid-century
Author: Hjort, Jan; Karjalainen, Olli; Aalto, Juha Antero; Westermann, Sebastian; Romanovsky, Vladimir; Nelson, Frederick; Etzelmüller, Bernd; Luoto, Miska
Contributor: University of Helsinki, BioGeoClimate Modelling Lab
University of Helsinki, Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS)
Date: 2018-12-12
Language: eng
Number of pages: 9
Belongs to series: Nature Communications
ISSN: 2041-1723
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/275481
Abstract: Degradation of near-surface permafrost can pose a serious threat to the utilization of natural resources, and to the sustainable development of Arctic communities. Here we identify at unprecedentedly high spatial resolution infrastructure hazard areas in the Northern Hemisphere's permafrost regions under projected climatic changes and quantify fundamental engineering structures at risk by 2050. We show that nearly four million people and 70% of current infrastructure in the permafrost domain are in areas with high potential for thaw of near-surface permafrost. Our results demonstrate that one-third of pan-Arctic infrastructure and 45% of the hydrocarbon extraction fields in the Russian Arctic are in regions where thaw-related ground instability can cause severe damage to the built environment. Alarmingly, these figures are not reduced substantially even if the climate change targets of the Paris Agreement are reached.
Subject: 1172 Environmental sciences
CLIMATE-CHANGE
CHANGING CLIMATE
THERMAL REGIME
THAW
OIL
MAP
DEGRADATION
LANDSCAPES
HAZARD
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