Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Signs of thawing permafrost revealed from space
by Staff Writers
Paris (ESA) Mar 29, 2012

The use of satellite data like from ESA's Envisat, along with other Earth-observing satellites and intensive field measurements, allows the permafrost research community to get a panoptic view of permafrost phenomena from a local to a Circum-Arctic dimension.

Satellite are seeing changes in land surfaces in high detail at northern latitudes, indicating thawing permafrost. This releases greenhouse gases into parts of the Arctic, exacerbating the effects of climate change.

Permafrost is ground that remains at or below 0C for at least two consecutive years and usually appears in areas at high latitudes such as Alaska, Siberia and Northern Scandinavia, or at high altitudes like the Andes, Himalayas and the Alps.

About half of the world's underground organic carbon is found in northern permafrost regions. This is more than double the amount of carbon in the atmosphere in the form of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane.

The effects of climate change are most severe and rapid in the Arctic, causing the permafrost to thaw. When it does, it releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, exacerbating the effects of climate change.

Although permafrost cannot be directly measured from space, factors such as surface temperature, land cover and snow parameters, soil moisture and terrain changes can be captured by satellites.

The use of satellite data like from ESA's Envisat, along with other Earth-observing satellites and intensive field measurements, allows the permafrost research community to get a panoptic view of permafrost phenomena from a local to a Circum-Arctic dimension.

"Combining field measurements with remote sensing and climate models can advance our understanding of the complex processes in the permafrost region and improve projections of the future climate," said Dr Hans-Wolfgang Hubberten, head of the Alfred Wegner Institute Research Unit (Germany) and President of the International Permafrost Association.

Last month, more than 60 permafrost scientists and Earth observation specialists came together for the Third Permafrost User Workshop at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Potsdam, Germany, to discuss their latest findings.

"The already available Permafrost products provide researchers with valuable datasets which can be used in addition to other observational data for climate and hydrological modelling," said Dr Leonid Bobylev, the director of the Nansen Centre in St. Petersburg.

"However, for climate change studies - and in particular for evaluation of the climate models' performance - it is essential to get a longer time series of satellite observational data.

"Therefore, the Permafrost related measurements should be continued in the future and extended consistently in the past."

ESA will continue to monitor the permafrost region with its Envisat satellite and the upcoming Sentinel satellite series for Europe's Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) programme.


Related Links
DUE Permafrost
Earth Observation News - Suppiliers, Technology and Application

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

ESRI Geospatial Technology Promotes Local Food Systems in US
Redlands, CA (SPX) Mar 28, 2012
As part of the US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) ongoing commitment to support local and regional food systems, it recently released the KYF2 Compass Map. The interactive, web-based map provides information about these food systems and is a component of the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass, announced by agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack and deputy secretary Kathleen Merrigan of the U ... read more

Flying Formation - Around the Moon at 3,600 MPH

NASA's Grail MoonKam Returns First Student-Selected Lunar Images

Ecliptic "MoonKAM" Systems Begin Operations in Lunar Orbit

Two New NASA LRO Videos: See Moon's Evolution, Take a Tour

'Mount Sharp' On Mars Links Geology's Past and Future

A glow in the Martian night throws light on atmospheric circulation

Mars Science Laboratory Adjusts Orbital Path And Tests Instruments

Geologists discover new class of landform - on Mars

Leading Government Space Programs Under Strong Budget Pressure

ICAP Ocean Tomo Auctions NASA Software Patent Portfolios

Not your average heat shield

NASA Seeks Space Launch System Advanced Development Solutions

China's Lunar Docking

Shenzhou-9 may take female astronaut to space

China to launch 100 satellites during 2011-15

Three for Tiangong

Aerojet Propulsion Helps Deliver Astronaut Care Packages

Soyuz return from ISS set for April 27

European cargo vessel docks with space station

Beaming Success for ISS Fans

SpaceX names safety panel

Swiss pioneer motor aimed at slashing satellite launch costs

ATREX Mission Launched from Wallops

ILS Proton Launches Intelsat 22

Billions of Habitable Zone Rocky Planets Could be Orbiting Red Dwarf Stars

Runaway Planets Zoom at a Fraction of Light-Speed

Some orbits more popular than others in solar systems

Herschel's new view on giant planet formation

Concerns grow over children using tablet computers

Astrium completes in-orbit delivery of the SSOT satellite system

Apple gadget maker has 'significant' labor issues: audit

Magnetic field researchers target 100-tesla goal

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal 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