Permafrost is a thermal condition -- its formation, persistence and disappearance are highly dependent on climate. General circulation models predict that, for a doubling of atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, mean annual air temperatures may rise up to several degrees over much of the Arctic. In the discontinuous permafrost region, where ground temperatures are within 1-2 degrees of thawing, permafrost will likely ultimately disappear as a result of ground thermal changes associated with global climate warming. Where ground ice contents are high, permafrost degradation will have associated physical impacts. Permafrost thaw stands to have wide-ranging impacts, such as the draining and drying of the tundra, erosion of riverbanks and coastline, and destabilization of infrastructure (roads, airports, buildings, etc.), and including potential implications for ecosystems and the carbon cycle in the high latitudes.
Opportunities to Use Remote Sensing in Understanding Permafrost and Related Ecological Characteristics is the summary of a workshop convened by the National Research Council to explore opportunities for using remote sensing to advance our understanding of permafrost status and trends and the impacts of permafrost change, especially on ecosystems and the carbon cycle in the high latitudes. The workshop brought together experts from the remote sensing community with permafrost and ecosystem scientists. The workshop discussions articulated gaps in current understanding and potential opportunities to harness remote sensing techniques to better understand permafrost, permafrost change, and implications for ecosystems in permafrost areas. This report addresses questions such as how remote sensing might be used in innovative ways, how it might enhance our ability to document long-term trends, and whether it is possible to integrate remote sensing products with the ground-based observations and assimilate them into advanced Arctic system models. Additionally, the report considers the expectations of the quality and spatial and temporal resolution possible through such approaches, and the prototype sensors that are available that could be used for detailed ground calibration of permafrost/high latitude carbon cycle studies.
Table of Contents
|2 Remote Sensing Technologies to Directly and Indirectly Measure Permafrost and Permafrost-Related Ecological Characteristics||11-42|
|3 Future Opportunities||43-44|
|Appendix A: Abstracts of Workshop Presentations||53-62|
|Appendix B: Workshop Agenda and Participant List||63-68|
|Appendix C: Statement of Task||69-70|
|Appendix D: Committee Biosketches||71-72|
|Appendix E: Acronyms and Initialisms||73-74|
The National Academies Press (NAP) has partnered with Copyright Clearance Center's Rightslink service to offer you a variety of options for reusing NAP content. Through Rightslink, you may request permission to reprint NAP content in another publication, course pack, secure website, or other media. Rightslink allows you to instantly obtain permission, pay related fees, and print a license directly from the NAP website. The complete terms and conditions of your reuse license can be found in the license agreement that will be made available to you during the online order process. To request permission through Rightslink you are required to create an account by filling out a simple online form. The following list describes license reuses offered by the National Academies Press (NAP) through Rightslink:
Click here to obtain permission for the above reuses. If you have questions or comments concerning the Rightslink service, please contact:
Rightslink Customer Care
Tel (toll free): 877/622-5543
To request permission to distribute a PDF, please contact our Customer Service Department at 800-624-6242 for pricing.
To request permission to translate a book published by the National Academies Press or its imprint, the Joseph Henry Press, please click here to view more information.