Thawing Permafrost in Alaska

Thawing Permafrost in Alaska

The maps show projected ground temperature at a depth of 3.3 feet assuming continued increases in emissions (A2 scenario) and assuming a substantial reduction in emissions (B1 scenario). Blue shades represent areas below freezing at a depth of 3.3 feet and yellow and red shades represent areas above freezing at that depth (see Ch. 22: Alaska for more details). Many Alaska Natives depend on permafrost for ice cellars to store frozen food, and replacing these cellars with electricity-driven freezers is expensive or otherwise infeasible. Permafrost thawing also affects infrastructure like roads and utility lines. (Figure source: Permafrost Lab, Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks).

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Physical Climate, Scenarios, Modeling