Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
by Staff Writers
Montreal, Canada (SPX) Jun 12, 2014
Researchers from McGill and the U.S. Geological Survey, more used to measuring thawing permafrost than its expansion, have made a surprising discovery. There is new permafrost forming around Twelvemile Lake in the interior of Alaska. But they have also quickly concluded that, given the current rate of climate change, it won't last beyond the end of this century.
Twelvemile Lake is sometimes called the disappearing lake. That's because over the past thirty years, as a result of climate change and thawing permafrost, the lake water has been receding at an alarming rate.
It is now 5 metres or 15 feet shallower than it would have been three decades ago. This is a big change in a very short time.
As the lake recedes, bands of willow shrubs have grown up on the newly exposed lake shores over the past twenty years. What Martin Briggs from the U.S. Geological Survey and Prof.
Jeffrey McKenzie from McGill's Dept. of Earth and Planetary Science have just discovered is that the extra shade provided by these willow shrubs has both cooled and dried the surrounding soil, allowing new permafrost to expand beneath them.
The researchers were initially very excited by this find. But after analyzing the thickness of the new permafrost and projecting how it will be affected by continued climate change and the expected rise in temperature in the Arctic of 3 C, they arrived at the conclusion that the new permafrost won't last beyond the end of the century.
To read "New permafrost is forming around shrinking Arctic lakes, but will it last?" by Martin Briggs et al in Geophysical Research Letters please go here.
Beyond the Ice Age
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.|