Hjort, J., Karjalainen, O., Aalto, J., Westermann, S., Romanovsky, V., Nelson, F., Etzelmüller, B., Luoto, M. (2018) Degrading permafrost puts Arctic infrastructure at risk by mid-century. Nature Communications, 9, 5147. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-07557-4
Degrading permafrost puts Arctic infrastructure at risk by mid-century
|Author:||Hjort, Jan1; Karjalainen, Olli1; Aalto, Juha2,3;|
1Geography Research Unit, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 3000, Oulu 90014, Finland
2Department of Geosciences and Geography, University of Helsinki, P. O. Box 64, Helsinki 00014, Finland
3Finnish Meteorological Institute, Weather and Climate Change Impact Research, P.O. Box 503, Helsinki 00101, Finland
4Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1047, Oslo 0316, Norway
5Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks AK 99775 AK, USA
6Earth Cryosphere Institute, Tyumen Science Centre, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Science, Tyumen 625026, Russian Federation
7Department of Geography, Environment, and Spatial Sciences, Michigan State University, East Lansing MI 48824 MI, USA
8Department of Earth, Environmental, and Geographical Sciences, Northern Michigan University, Marquette MI 49855 MI, USA
|Online Access:||PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.6 MB)|
|Persistent link:|| http://urn.fi/urn:nbn:fi-fe201901071474
|Publish Date:|| 2019-01-07
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.
|Type of Publication:||
A1 Journal article – refereed
|Field of Science:||
This research was funded by the Academy of Finland grants no. 285040 and 286950 (INFRAHAZARD Consortium).
|Academy of Finland Grant Number:||
285040 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
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