Leppiniemi, O., Karjalainen, O., Aalto, J., Luoto, M., and Hjort, J.: Environmental spaces for palsas and peat plateaus are disappearing at a circumpolar scale, The Cryosphere, 17, 3157–3176, https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-17-3157-2023
Environmental spaces for palsas and peat plateaus are disappearing at a circumpolar scale
|Author:||Leppiniemi, Oona1; Karjalainen, Olli1; Aalto, Juha2,3;|
1Geography Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, 90014, Finland
2Department of Geosciences and Geography, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, 00014, Finland
3Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, 00101, Finland
|Online Access:||PDF Full Text (PDF, 8.8 MB)|
|Persistent link:|| http://urn.fi/urn:nbn:fi-fe20231018140539
|Publish Date:|| 2023-10-18
Anthropogenic climate change threatens northern permafrost environments. This compromises the existence of permafrost landforms, such as palsas and peat plateaus, which have been assessed to be critically endangered habitats. In this study, we integrated geospatial datasets and statistical methods to model the suitable environments for palsas and peat plateaus across the Northern Hemisphere permafrost region. The models were calibrated using data from years 1950–2000. The effects of climate change on the suitable environments for the landforms were assessed by using low-, moderate-, and high-emissions scenarios (Representative Concentration Pathway climate scenarios: RCP2.6, RCP4.5, and RCP8.5, respectively) for two periods (2041–2060 and 2061–2080). Hotspots for palsa and peat plateau environments occurred in northern Europe, western Siberia, and subarctic Canada. Climate change was predicted to cause an almost complete loss (decrease of 98.2 %) of suitable environmental spaces under the high-emissions scenario by 2061–2080, while under low- and moderate-emissions scenarios the predicted loss was 76.3 % and 89.3 % respectively. Our modeling results are in line with previously published thermokarst data pointing out areas of recent degradation of palsa and peat plateau environments. Our results provide new insights into the distribution of the permafrost landforms in less studied areas such as central and eastern Siberia. In addition, the predictions provide new understanding of the changing geoecological conditions of the circumpolar region with important implications for greenhouse gas emissions.
|Pages:||3157 - 3176|
|Type of Publication:||
A1 Journal article – refereed
|Field of Science:||
This research has been supported by the Academy of Finland (grant nos. 315519, 337552, and 342890).
|Academy of Finland Grant Number:||
315519 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.