Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (1.2 MB)

Title: Report from the International Permafrost Association: state of permafrost in the first decade of the 21st century

Author: Brown, J.; Romanovsky, V.E.;

Date: 2008

Source: Permafrost and Periglacial Processess. 19(2): 255-260

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Recent assessments have considered present-day and future responses of permafrost terrain to climate change; included are the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) , Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) and United Nations Environment Programme assessments (Romanovsky et al., 2007), the on-going National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) annual State of the Arctic Report and the Arctic Council assessment. The general consensus is that permafrost temperatures have risen in the last 20-30 years. Permafrost thermal responses to climate change occur at different time scales, with changes in active layer thickness being highly responsive to seasonal events and summer conditions. Major modification of thermal profiles below the depth of zero amplitude take decades to centuries, and the basal thawing of permafrost associated with progressive permafrost thinning requires centuries or millennia. Thawing of permafrost is currently observed within the southern limits of the permafrost zone. If the current trends in climate continue, warming of permafrost will eventually lead to widespread permafrost thaw in colder permafrost zones. However, there are regional differences in the response of permafrost terrain to climate change and there are the uncertainties as to where thawing will occur first and the resulting rates. All agree that thawing permafrost in the 21st century may create serious societal and environmental impacts, some of which may have global consequences.

Keywords: permafrost, active layer

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Brown, J.; Romanovsky, V.E. 2008. Report from the International Permafrost Association: state of permafrost in the first decade of the 21st century. Permafrost and Periglacial Processess. 19(2): 255-260.


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.