e360 digest


17 Feb 2010: Permafrost Line in Quebec
Retreats 80 Miles in 50 Years, Study Says

The southern limit of permafrost around the James Bay region in Quebec has moved 80 miles to the north since 1957, according to a new study. Scientists at the Université Laval tracked the northerly retreat of the tundra by examining distinctive, oval-shaped land elevations known as palsas, which form over permafrost. By comparing aerial photos taken in the James Bay region between the 51st and 53rd
Permafrost
Serge Payette
Melt ponds on tundra
parallels in 1957 with findings from helicopter surveys in 2004 and 2005, the scientists documented the swift poleward movement of the permafrost line. The study, published in the journal Permafrost and Periglacial Processes, also found that permafrost was in an advanced state of deterioration as far north as the 55th parallel. “If this trend keeps up, what is left of the palsas in the James Bay bogs will disappear altogether in the near future, and it is likely that the permafrost will suffer the same fate,” said one researcher. James Bay, bordered by Quebec and Ontario, forms the southernmost portion of Hudson Bay. As the Arctic has warmed in many areas by 3 to 4 degrees F in recent decades, permafrost has been melting throughout the region, and the tundra is beginning to disappear, as well.

Email      Recommend     Tweet     Stumble Upon     Digg     Share    


Yale
Yale Environment 360 is
a publication of the
Yale School of Forestry
& Environmental Studies
.

SEARCH e360



Donate to Yale Environment 360
Yale Environment 360 Newsletter

CONNECT

Twitter: YaleE360
e360 on Facebook
Donate to e360
View mobile site
Bookmark
Share e360
Subscribe to our newsletter
Subscribe to our feed:
rss


ABOUT

About e360
Contact
Submission Guidelines
Reprints

E360 en Español

Universia partnership
Yale Environment 360 articles are now available in Spanish and Portuguese on Universia, the online educational network.
Visit the site.


DEPARTMENTS

Opinion
Reports
Analysis
Interviews
Forums
e360 Digest
Podcasts
Video Reports

TOPICS

Biodiversity
Business & Innovation
Climate
Energy
Forests
Oceans
Policy & Politics
Pollution & Health
Science & Technology
Sustainability
Urbanization
Water

REGIONS

Antarctica and the Arctic
Africa
Asia
Australia
Central & South America
Europe
Middle East
North America

e360 PHOTO GALLERY

“Peter
Photographer Peter Essick documents the swift changes wrought by global warming in Antarctica, Greenland, and other far-flung places.
View the gallery.

e360 MOBILE

Mobile
The latest
from Yale
Environment 360
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile.

e360 VIDEO

Warriors of Qiugang
The Warriors of Qiugang, a Yale Environment 360 video that chronicles the story of a Chinese village’s fight against a polluting chemical plant, was nominated for a 2011 Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject). Watch the video.


header image
Top Image: aerial view of Iceland. © Google & TerraMetrics.

e360 VIDEO

Colorado River Video
In a Yale Environment 360 video, photographer Pete McBride documents how increasing water demands have transformed the Colorado River, the lifeblood of the arid Southwest. Watch the video.

 

OF INTEREST



Yale