thermokarst landscape on an island
Funded Title: 
Thermokarst Monitoring at the Landscape Level: A Feasibility Study
North Slope, Alaska
September 1, 2012 to December 1, 2013

Permafrost – the thick layer of permanently frozen soil found in Arctic regions – has been thawing rapidly over the past century due to climate change. When permafrost thaws unevenly, it produces thermokarst landscapes, irregular surfaces of small hills interspersed with hollows. The processes that produce thermokarst can lead to significant changes within the surrounding ecosystems, altering water quality, vegetation, and water, carbon, and nutrient storage and flows.

April 1, 2015 to April 1, 2017

Projected climate warming is expected to alter the water cycle throughout coastal Alaska. In particular, changes in seasonal snowcover and glacier volume have the potential to change the amount and timing of freshwater delivery to the ocean. Climate change will also impact the amount and timing of nutrients delivered by streams to near-shore habitats. As glaciers change, so will the runoff that is a primary driver for coastal currents that contribute to vibrant nearshore marine ecosystems.

Alaska and Washington
June 1, 2015 to June 1, 2017

This project will extend understanding of the role of glaciers in the hydrology of Alaska and Washington state and incorporate this knowledge into two types of simulation models. The project will develop robust methods for hydrologic modeling that will be applicable throughout AK and WA, including areas lacking types of on-the-ground measurements traditionally required for this type of research.

This video shows landscapes of Alaska. From glaciers in the Alaska Range, to the Interior's boreal forest and the Arctic tundra--this short movie highlights the importance and stunning beauty of Alaska's frozen lands. It contains footage taken by Alessio Gusmeroli during research expeditions to the study glaciers, snow and permafrost in Alaska.

Changing Ice is a biannual newsletter that highlights cryosphere-snow, ice, permafrost-and related research from around Alaska. In this issue, the featured stories include:

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