Changing Permafrost in the Arctic and its Global Effects in the 21st Century (PAGE21)

Project leader


Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2011
End date: 31/10/2015
Funding: 9343585 EUR


Permafrost is defined as ground that remains continuously at or below 0°C for at least two consecutive years; some 24% ofthe land surface in the northern Hemisphere is classified as permafrost. In the Northern high latitudes, strong warming hasbeen observed over the recent decades, and climate models project strong future warming. A projected decline in the extentof permafrost will have a major impact on the Earth system, affecting global climate through the mobilization of carbon andnitrogen stored in permafrost.PAGE21 aims to understand and quantify the vulnerability of permafrost environments to a changing global climate, and toinvestigate the feedback mechanisms associated with increasing greenhouse gas emissions from permafrost zones. Thisresearch makes use of a unique set of Arctic permafrost investigations performed at stations that span the full range ofArctic bioclimatic zones. The project brings together the best European permafrost researchers and eminent scientists fromCanada, Russia, the USA, and Japan.In a truly original approach we combine field measurements of permafrost processes, pools, and fluxes, with remote sensingdata and global climate models at local, regional and, for the first time, pan-Arctic scales. The output from this research willhelp to advance our understanding of permafrost processes at multiple scales, resulting in improvements in global numericalpermafrost modeling and the ensuing future climate projections, as well as in the assessment of stabilisation scenarios.These outputs will feed into global assessments and international monitoring programs, in which most of the consortiummembers are already actively participating in leading roles. This project will, in particular, provide projections on a pan-Arcticscale of greenhouse gas releases from the projected thawing of permafrost terrain during the 21st century, with directimplications for global policy discussions on emission reduction targets.

External Partners

Last updated on 2018-19-12 at 14:27