Latest Permafrost Stories

2008-08-01 15:00:28

A melting glacier and flash flooding fears at a Canadian park on Baffin Island forced officials to evacuate tourists and declare much of the area off-limits. The Auyuittuq National Park on the island's northeast coast recently witnessed record-breaking warmth and substantial amounts of rain, Parks Canada spokeswoman Pauline Scott told Canwest News Service. This summer's events are beyond anything we're used to, Scott said from Iqualuit, Nunavut. This is no doubt a result of climate...

2008-08-01 09:00:08

By Alicia Chang Associated Press LOS ANGELES -- The Phoenix spacecraft has tasted Martian water for the first time, scientists reported Thursday. By melting icy soil in one of its lab instruments, the robot confirmed the presence of frozen water lurking below the Martian permafrost. Until now, evidence of ice in Mars' north pole region has been largely circumstantial. In 2002, the orbiting Odyssey spacecraft spied what looked like a reservoir of buried ice. After Phoenix arrived, it...

2008-07-22 09:00:00

TOOLIK LAKE, Alaska -- Scientist Anne Hershey paddled a small inflatable raft across an arctic lake, pausing in her stroke to consider how the melting permafrost caused a landslide of mud and sediment spilling down the bank into the water. Since the bank collapsed two years ago, the water has grown cloudy with sediment, providing scientists a natural laboratory for studying how warmer temperatures may play out in ecosystems far and near. Global air and water temperatures are inching...

2008-07-18 06:00:29

By Carrie Peyton Dahlberg, The Sacramento Bee, Calif. Jul. 18--TOOLIK FIELD STATION, Alaska -- Beyond the Arctic Circle, teams of scientists measure widening slumps as ice melts beneath the tundra. They scuff through tussocks blackened by unexpected fires, and search for fish in drought-depleted streams. The researchers are taking the pulse of a warming Earth in a landscape supremely adapted to cold, one that may be an early-warning zone for lands far south. "It's not just an Alaska...

2008-06-10 14:35:00

The rate of climate warming over northern Alaska, Canada, and Russia could more than triple during periods of rapid sea ice loss, according to a new study led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). The findings raise concerns about the thawing of permafrost, or permanently frozen soil, and the potential consequences for sensitive ecosystems, human infrastructure, and the release of additional greenhouse gases."Our study suggests that, if sea-ice continues to contract rapidly...

2008-05-23 13:35:00

Emissions from wetlands around the Arctic may be responsible for higher atmospheric levels of the greenhouse gas methane that were noted last year.Extra amounts of the gas in the Arctic region are of biological origin, according to scientists. For nearly a decade global levels of methane had remained mostly stable.Rising levels in the arctic indicate that some of the methane stored away in permafrost is being released, which would result in major climatic implications.Methane is about 25...

2008-04-25 00:15:00

Researchers from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) reported new data that shows a higher than usual average increase in carbon dioxide levels over the last 30 years.The recently released report from NOAA scientists is an annual update to the agency's greenhouse gas index, which tracks data from 60 regions around the world. Concentrations may have increased by as much as 0.5% from 2006 to 2007.CO2 levels jumped by 2.4 parts per...

2007-11-16 18:49:49

OSLO, Norway -- Refrigeration units on Friday begin cooling a new doomsday vault dug into an already frigid Arctic mountainside to protect the world's seeds in case of a global catastrophe. Norway blasted the Svalbard Global Seed Vault deep into the permafrost of a remote Arctic archipelago to protect as many as 4.5 million of the world's agricultural seeds from climate change, plant epidemics, natural disasters or war. It is due to open Feb. 26. The Svalbard Archipelago, 300 miles north of...

2007-10-17 21:35:00

WASHINGTON -- The Arctic is under increasing stress from warming temperatures as shrubs colonize the tundra, changing wildlife habitat and local climate conditions, researchers said Wednesday. Sea ice fell well below the previous record, caribou are declining in many areas and permafrost is melting, according to the annual update of the State of the Arctic report. "The bottom line is we are seeing some rapid changes in the Arctic," said Richard Spinrad, assistant administrator for oceanic and...

2007-07-03 14:40:00

WASHINGTON -- Ponds that have provided summertime water in the high arctic for thousands of years are drying up as global warming advances, Canadian researchers say. Falling water levels and changes in chemistry in the ponds first were noticed in the 1990s, and by last July some of the ponds that dot the landscape were dry, according to a report in Tuesday's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. John P. Smol of Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, and Marianne S. V. Douglas of...

Word of the Day
  • Like a worm in form or movement; vermiform; tortuous or sinuous; also, writhing or wriggling.
  • Like the track or trace of a worm; appearing as if worm-eaten; vermiculate.
  • Marked with fine, close-set, wavy or tortuous lines of color; vermiculated.
  • A form of rusticated masonry which is so wrought as to appear thickly indented with worm-tracks.
This word ultimately comes from the Latin 'vermis,' worm.