The overall aim of this project is to quantify the effects of arctic climate change on the coupled permafrost-hydrological system. The dynamics of water and permafrost are tightly linked, yet a clear understanding of how these systems will interact following arctic climate change is still lacking.

In this project we work towards understanding of how heat moves through the ground and impacts permafrost thaw rates under various environmental conditions in terms of permafrost distribution, climate, terrain, and soil types. Our main focus is to understand the importance of processes that are generally not represented in traditional permafrost models.

We investigate the influence from permafrost dynamics, mainly seasonal and long-term thawing, on groundwater and river temperatures. These changes are expected to have fundamental impacts on biogeochemical cycling (carbon and nutrients) and habitat for fish, following climatic warming.

The last part of our project is to quantify the influence from different environmental and climatic drivers for future changes in permafrost distributions. For this, we will use realistic climate scenarios and focusing on changes in precipitation, snowmelt and hydrologic extreme events.

Recently developed numerical modeling tools for permafrost-hydrology interactions are used together with field experiments in Alaska, Greenland, and northern Sweden. The project is carried out in collaboration with partners at the US Geological Survey, and Los Alamos National Laboratory. The project is funded by Formas.