Permafrost Warming in a Subarctic Peatland - Which Meteorological Controls are Most Important?
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
Since 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, 2006–2013. During this time period the air temperature record shows no warming trend, and the late-season thaw depth has been relatively stable around 55–60 cm. Meanwhile, the mean annual ground temperature at 1 m depth has increased by 0.06°C/yr and at 2–5 m depth the permafrost is currently warmer than -0.3°C. Statistical analyses suggest that inter-annual changes in thaw depth and ground temperatures are affected by different meteorological factors. Summer air temperatures and annual thawing degree-days control thaw depth (p ≤0.05), whereas winter precipitation/snow depth affects ground temperatures (p ≤0.1). The permafrost in this peat plateau is most likely relict and not in equilibrium with current climatic conditions. Since the early 20th 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 have an impact on the rate of permafrost degradation, but unless pronounced climate cooling would take place overall thawing of the peat plateau is inevitable.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2016. Vol. 27, no 2, 177-188 p.
permafrost, peat plateau, ground temperature, active layer, monitoring, climate change
Research subject Physical Geography
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-133982DOI: 10.1002/ppp.1862OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-133982DiVA: diva2:974327
FunderSwedish Research Council Formas, 214-2014-562Helge Ax:son Johnsons stiftelse