Past and recent changes in air and permafrost temperatures in eastern Siberia

TitlePast and recent changes in air and permafrost temperatures in eastern Siberia
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsRomanovsky, VE, Sazonova, TS, Balobaev, VT, Shender, NI, Sergueev, DO
JournalGlobal and Planetary Change
Date PublishedApr
ISBN Number0921-8181
Keywordsactive-layer, alaska, climate warming, climate-change, east siberia, northern eurasia, numerical modeling, Permafrost, snow accumulation

Air and ground temperatures measured in Eastern Siberia has been compiled and analyzed. The analysis of mean annual air temperatures measured at 52 meteorological stations within and near the East-Siberian transect during the period from 1956 through 1990 demonstrates a significant and statistically significant (at 0.05 level) positive trend ranging from 0.065 to 0.59 degrees C/ 10 yr. A statistically significant (at 0.05 level) positive trend was also observed in mean annual ground temperatures for the same period. The permafrost temperature reflects changes in air temperature on a decadal time scale much better than on an interannual time scale. Generally, positive trends in mean annual ground temperatures are slightly smaller in comparison with trends in mean annual air temperatures, except for several sites where the discordance between the air and ground temperatures can be explained by the winter snow dynamics. The average trend for the entire region was 0.26 degrees C/10 yr for ground temperatures at 1.6 in depth and 0.29 degrees C/10 yr for the air temperatures. The most significant trends in mean annual air and ground temperatures were in the southern part of the transect, between 55 degrees and 65 degrees N. Numerical modeling of ground temperatures has been performed for Yakutsk and Tiksi for the last 70 yr. Comparing the results of these calculations with a similar time series obtained for Fairbanks and Barrow in Alaska shows that similar variations of ground temperatures took place at the same time periods in Yakutsk and Fairbanks, and in Tiksi and Barrow. The decadal and longer time scale fluctuations in permafrost temperatures were pronounced in both regions. The magnitudes of these fluctuations were on the order of a few degrees centigrade. The fluctuations of mean annual ground temperatures were coordinated in Fairbanks and Yakutsk, and in Barrow and Tiksi. However, the magnitude and timing of these fluctuations were slightly different for each of the sites. (C) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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