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Keywords:

  • permafrost;
  • ground temperature regime;
  • climate change;
  • permafrost thaw;
  • active layer;
  • Russia

Abstract

The results of the International Permafrost Association's International Polar Year Thermal State of Permafrost (TSP) project are presented based on field measurements from Russia during the IPY years (2007–09) and collected historical data. Most ground temperatures measured in existing and new boreholes show a substantial warming during the last 20 to 30 years. The magnitude of the warming varied with location, but was typically from 0.5°C to 2°C at the depth of zero annual amplitude. Thawing of Little Ice Age permafrost is ongoing at many locations. There are some indications that the late Holocene permafrost has begun to thaw at some undisturbed locations in northeastern Europe and northwest Siberia. Thawing of permafrost is most noticeable within the discontinuous permafrost domain. However, permafrost in Russia is also starting to thaw at some limited locations in the continuous permafrost zone. As a result, a northward displacement of the boundary between continuous and discontinuous permafrost zones was observed. This data set will serve as a baseline against which to measure changes of near-surface permafrost temperatures and permafrost boundaries, to validate climate model scenarios, and for temperature reanalysis. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.