Out of the world’s entire population, few know what permafrost is and fewer still have ever seen - let alone set foot upon - actual permafrost. Yet permafrost occurs in 24% of exposed land in the Northern Hemisphere. Permafrost is key to the planet’s future because it contains large stores of frozen organic matter that, if thawed and released into the atmosphere, would amplify current global warming and propel us to a warmer world. This report seeks to inform a broad audience about permafrost and communicate to decision-makers and the general public the implications of changing permafrost in a warming climate. It deﬁnes basic terminology and describes fundamental physical and biological processes that shape the permafrost landscape using the best scientiﬁc information available from published literature. The report discusses the impacts of a changing climate on ecosystems and human infrastructure in regions with signiﬁcant presence of permafrost, as well as the impacts of thawing permafrost on global climate. Graphics, illustrations and photographs help explain complicated concepts and ideas in a way that is easily understood and visualized by a non-scientiﬁc audience.
Format: Digital (Free), Hard copy