Warmer Permafrost–especially in Arctic Alaska

It’s hard to say what impact the recession of permafrost in the northern half of Alaska will have on fire regime.  One could presume there should be more organic moss and duff material available for combustion during the summer, which is likely to have implications for tundra fire extent and severity.  Warmer permafrost has also been linked to more extensive retrogressive thaw slumps–a kind of thermokarst which have been seen after tundra fire in ice-rich areas (photo). If you can make it, Dr. Romanovsky’s talk “Evidence of recent warming and thawing of permafrost in the Arctic and sub-Arctic, with updates on his extensive grid of permafrost monitoring wells up and down Alaska should be very interesting.  The talk is Oct 23 at Elvey Auditorium, University of Alaska-Fairbanks, at 4 pm ADT. See the summary flyer <<HERE>>.

Photo by R. Jandt, 2010

UAF scientist Dan Mann examines fire-induced thermokarst 3 years after Anaktuvuk River fire in arctic Alaska.

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