Permafrost is defined as ground that remains continuously at or below 0°C or at least two consecutive years; some 24% of the land surface in the northern Hemisphere is classified as permafrost. In the Northern high latitudes, strong warming has been observed over the recent decades, and climate models project strong future warming. A projected decline in the extent of permafrost will have a major impact on the Earth system, affecting global climate through the mobilization of carbon and nitrogen stored in permafrost.
PAGE21 will aim to understand and quantify the vulnerability of permafrost environments to a changing global climate, and to investigate the feedback mechanisms associated with increasing greenhouse gas emissions from permafrost zones. This research will make use of a unique set of Arctic permafrost investigations performed at stations that span the full range of Arctic bioclimatic zones. The project will bring together the best European permafrost researchers and eminent scientists from Canada, Russia, the USA, and Japan.
The PAGE21 is a Large-scale integrating collaborative project under the ENV call topic "Vulnerability of Arctic permafrost to climate change and implications for global GHG emissions and future climate" (ENV.2011.1.1.3-1) coordinated by Professor Hans-Wolfgang Hubberten from AWI.