The PAGE21 consortium is be made up of leading European and international permafrost specialists, covering the entire spectrum of research from field studies, process studies, and remote sensing to global climate modeling. The consortium consists of 18 international partners from the following countries: Austria, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Great Britain, Island, Netherlands, Norway, Russian Federation and Sweden. PAGE21 will form the basis for accurate representation of permafrost-related processes in global climate projections, the lack of which has, until now, hampered assessments of the feedbacks of Arctic carbon pools to global climate change.
PAGE21 will gather together the three major European modeling groups (MPI-ECHAM6, HADGEM, and IPSL-CM5) dealing with coupled climate models that include a comprehensive representation of the relevant aspects of continental biogeochemical cycles as well as a dynamic vegetation component and parameterizations of the physical and hydrological effects of soil freezing. The European partners cooperate closely with international experts from Russian Federation, North America, Canada and Japan.
Seven members of the IPCC 5th Assessment Working Group will participate in PAGE21, ensuring a high visibility and a strong impact for the results of this project. The consortium is led by Professor Dr. Hans-Wolfgang Hubberten, ensuring that the results of this project will contribute directly to the existing permafrost monitoring frameworks and to further research into permafrost and climate change.
The work plan for PAGE21 is organized along two axes, both covering the entire project duration from 2011 until 2015.
These two axes are closely linked through a direct and ongoing transfer of expertise and data into the large-scale modeling activities, including the production of databases covering long time periods for critical, remotely-sensed biogeophysical parameters and variables. Furthermore, the participants in the modeling axis will also improve their understanding of permafrost and periglacial processes by visiting some of the field sites during the course of the project.
The time interval addressed by the PAGE21 project will include the recent past and the nex thundred years. An improved understanding of processes may require temporal resolutions in observation and modeling of up to the order of minutes (e.g. for energy fluxes), but there are also very slow processes at play (e.g. thermokarst formation, coastal erosion, ice-wedge dynamics and other landscape changes) that require the long-term monitoring programs covered in PAGE21. The deterministic land surface models to be used in PAGE21 will bridge these time scales. In addition, our advisory board has been carefully chosen to include expertise on longer, palaeoclimatological, time scales that are not directly expressed in the call, but which are necessary in terms of understanding the origin an nature of the arctic carbon and nitrogen pools, which were partially formed by Pleistocene and Holocene organic matter. We will specifically focus on improving global models. These automatically set the spatial scale of the modeling activities to the order of 100 km, which is coherent with remote sensing data but clearly not directly applicable comparable to ongoing landform changes at local scales. This will, however, not be a problem as the large-scale models to be used in PAGE21 will be developed and tested against site-scale observations. PAGE21 is designed to allow the direct transfer of knowledge at site and landscape scales, based on observations and expertise, to the large-scale models. Particular efforts will be devoted to parameterization of sub-grid scale variability in our model development work.