University of Oulu

Aalto, J., Karjalainen, O., Hjort, J., & Luoto, M. (2018). Statistical forecasting of current and future circum-Arctic ground temperatures and active layer thickness. Geophysical Research Letters, 45, 4889–4898.

Statistical forecasting of current and future circum‐Arctic ground temperatures and active layer thickness

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Author: Aalto, J.1,2; Karjalainen , O.3; Hjort, J.3;
Organizations: 1Department of Geosciences and Geography, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
2Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland
3Geography Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: American Geophysical Union, 2018
Publish Date: 2019-03-20


Mean annual ground temperature (MAGT) and active layer thickness (ALT) are key to understanding the evolution of the ground thermal state across the Arctic under climate change. Here a statistical modeling approach is presented to forecast current and future circum‐Arctic MAGT and ALT in relation to climatic and local environmental factors, at spatial scales unreachable with contemporary transient modeling. After deploying an ensemble of multiple statistical techniques, distance‐blocked cross validation between observations and predictions suggested excellent and reasonable transferability of the MAGT and ALT models, respectively. The MAGT forecasts indicated currently suitable conditions for permafrost to prevail over an area of 15.1 ± 2.8 × 106km2. This extent is likely to dramatically contract in the future, as the results showed consistent, but region‐specific, changes in ground thermal regime due to climate change. The forecasts provide new opportunities to assess future Arctic changes in ground thermal state and biogeochemical feedback.

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Series: Geophysical research letters
ISSN: 0094-8276
ISSN-E: 1944-8007
ISSN-L: 0094-8276
Volume: 45
Issue: 10
Pages: 4889 - 4898
DOI: 10.1029/2018GL078007
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1171 Geosciences
1172 Environmental sciences
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 285040
Detailed Information: 285040 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2018. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.