The mean surface temperature of permafrost in Alaska has warmed locally as much as 4° C during the last century although some areas show little or no indication of a warming or cooling. There is evidence for a recent cooling, since 1983, south of Prudhoe Bay to the Brooks Range. South of the Yukon River drainage and on the south side of the Seward Peninsula, permafrost temperatures are generally within a few degree's of thawing. There is a general consensus among scientists for a climatic warming of several degrees in surface air temperatures by the middle of the next century. If this warming occurs, there will be widespread thawing of the permafrost south of the Yukon River drainage and on the south side of the Seward Peninsula in Alaska. In general, thawing of warm discontinuous permafrost would also be expected in other areas of the polar regions. This potential thawing of the permafrost could create severe environmental and engineering problems.
|Title||Thermal regime of permafrost in Alaska and predicted global warming|
|Authors||T.E. Osterkamp, A. H. Lachenbruch|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Journal of Cold Regions Engineering|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|