What are the effects of thawing permafrost on Alaska's water?

Release Date: 
Friday, January 20, 2006

For Immediate Release

As the Arctic climate warms, permafrost begins to thermally degrade. Transformation of this frozen layer of earth triggers changes in every aspect of surface water and energy in the Arctic. While the region experiences warming, permafrost becomes thinner, and its extent in the boreal forest shrinks. Alterations to permafrost also influence the look of the northern landscape and the region's climatology. In short, warming climate and thawing permafrost create changes to the entire hydrological cycle in Alaska.

Larry Hinzman, Deputy Director of the International Arctic Research Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, will explain the impacts of thawing permafrost on Alaska's water in a free one hour lecture on January 24. "Warmer Climate, Thawing Permafrost: What Will Happen to Alaska's Water?" will begin at 7 p.m. in the Westmark Gold Room and is open to the public. Get there early to enjoy educational displays and literature on permafrost. All ages are welcome!

This is the third installment in the 2006 Science for Alaska Lecture Series, an annual event coordinated and sponsored by the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Lectures will run every Tuesday at 7 p.m. through February 14.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Information on all lectures and presenters in the 2006 Science for Alaska Lecture Series may be found online at http://www.scienceforalaska.com.

CONTACT:
Larry Hinzman, Deputy Director of the International Arctic Research Center, UAF: 474-7331
Amy Hartley, Geophysical Institute Information Officer: 474-5823