Permafrost Warming in a Subarctic Peatland - Which Meteorological Controls are Most Important?
Number of Authors: 4
2016 (English)In: Permafrost and Periglacial Processes, ISSN 1045-6740, E-ISSN 1099-1530, Vol. 27, no 2, 177-188 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Because climate change can affect the carbon balance and hydrology in permafrost peatlands, a better understanding of their sensitivity to changes in temperature and precipitation is needed. In Tavvavuoma, northernmost Sweden, meteorological parameters and ground thermal properties have been monitored in a peat plateau from 2006 to 2013. During this time period, the air temperature record shows no warming trend, and the late-season thaw depth has been relatively stable at around 55-60cm. Meanwhile, the mean annual ground temperature at 1m depth has increased by 0.06 degrees C/yr and at 2-5m depth the permafrost is currently warmer than -0.3 degrees C. Statistical analyses suggest that interannual changes in thaw depth and ground temperatures are affected by different meteorological factors. Summer air temperatures and annual thawing degree-days control thaw depth (p0.05), whereas winter precipitation/snow depth affects ground temperatures (p0.1). The permafrost in this peat plateau is likely relict and not in equilibrium with current climatic conditions. Since the early 20(th) century, there has been a regional increase in air temperature and snow depth. If the ongoing permafrost warming in Tavvavuoma is a result of these long-term trends, short-term variability in meteorological parameters can still have an impact on the rate of permafrost degradation, but unless pronounced climate cooling occurs, thawing of the peat plateau is inevitable.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 27, no 2, 177-188 p.
permafrost, peat plateau, ground temperature, active layer, monitoring, climate change
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-132525DOI: 10.1002/ppp.1862ISI: 000378430300003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-132525DiVA: diva2:952657