Advances in Climate Change Research (2022) DOI: 10.1016/j.accre.2022.09.004″ width=”800″ height=”508″/>

Current states of mean annual ground temperature (MAGT) and maximum frost depth (MFD) in the Tertiary Pole (MAGT data from 2000 to 2016 were obtained from Ran et al. (2022a). MFD and unfrozen ground (MFD ≤ 0) cm) data were determined from data-driven modeling conducted in the 2010s, as adapted from Wang and Ran (2021a). Credit: You-Hua Ran et al, Advances in Climate Change Research (2022). DOI: 10.1016/j.accre.2022.09.004

The Earth’s Third Pole, encompassing the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, the Pamir Plateau, and the Tien Shan, includes the world’s largest mid- and low-latitude frozen region.

Frozen ground, including permafrost and seasonal frost, has an important effect on hydrological cycle and productivity of the ecosystem in this area, and even on the global climate.

Recently, researchers from the Northwest Institute of Environmental Environment and Resources of the Chinese Academy of Sciences discovered the current state of permafrost and its changes throughout the Third Pole over the past 60 years by reviewing existing high-quality permafrost data products. or through data-driven modeling.

The corresponding results were published in Advances in Climate Change Research.

The researchers found that the current area of ​​permafrost (permafrost zone) is approximately 127×104 km.2, which is approximately 28% of the Third Pole. The average annual ground temperature in the permafrost zone was about -1.51 °C, and the average regional thickness of the active layer was about 235 cm. The current area of ​​seasonal permafrost was about 259×104 km2which is approximately 55% of the Third Pole.

The average maximum freezing depth in the region was 92 cm. Both permafrost and seasonally frozen ground have significantly degraded (warmed and thawed) over the past 60 years. The permafrost warmed significantly at a rate of 0.17 °C per decade, and the thickness of the active layer increased at a rate of 4.42 cm per decade. The maximum freezing depth of seasonally frozen soils decreased at a rate of 2.34 cm per decade.


Take a walk into the past to learn about the future of permafrost


Additional information:
Yu-Hua Ran et al., Current Status and Past Changes in Tertiary Permafrost: A Research Synthesis, Advances in Climate Change Research (2022). DOI: 10.1016/j.accre.2022.09.004

Citation: Study reveals current state and past changes in permafrost at Earth’s Third Pole (2022, October 10) Retrieved October 10, 2022, from https://phys.org/news/2022-10-reveals-current-state- frozen-ground. html

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