p r o d u c t s


(4) Permafrost and climate change


Thermal and geomorphic permafrost response to present and future climate change

Possible thermal and geomorphic effects are manifold and the possible thermal reactions of permafrost include:

(a) Increasing ground temperature and therefore permafrost warming;

(b) Thawing of permafrost with three effects: reduction in the spatial extent of permafrost areas, thickening of the seasonally unfrozen layer, and increasing ground-water circulation and pressure;

(c) Changes in the number and characteristics of freeze-thaw cycles.


Possible geomorphic permafrost reactions include:

(a) Changes in the rate of rock glacier displacement (vertically and horizontally);

(b) Changes in displacement mode of rock glaciers (from creep to initiation of basal sliding or even collapse);

(c) Changes in cryogenic weathering;

(d) Changes in the volume and extent of unstable slopes;

(e) Changes in frequency and magnitude of mass movement events such as rockfalls, rock slides or debris flows.



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