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Noon seminar - Baked Alaska: Impacts of a warming climate on Alaska's frozen landscapes

Monday, April 29, 2019, 12:15PM - 1:15PM


Joshua Koch



SEEC room S228 (Sievers Room)

Full title

Baked Alaska: Impacts of a warming climate on the hydrology, biogeochemistry, and ecosystems Alaska's frozen landscapes


High latitude regions are experiencing some of the highest rates of climate warming.  In Alaska, warming is resulting in a range of changes, including permafrost thaw, increasing wildfire activity and vegetation growth, and novel wildlife migrations.  The dominant mechanism of change varies across the state’s diverse landscapes and is often related to permafrost presence, ice content, and thickness, which determine the evolution of hydrologic flow paths.   

Here I’ll present evidence of the impacts of warming in three regions: 1) boreal catchments in interior Alaska with discontinuous permafrost 2) alpine catchments at the boreal-arctic transition with ice-poor permafrost, and 3) low-relief catchments of the Arctic Coastal Plain sitting on thick, continuous permafrost.  Despite the stark differences in these landscapes, a common conceptual model of subsurface hydrological evolution can be applied to explain changes and to consider the implications for biogeochemistry, ecosystems, and wildlife.

Coffee hour

Refreshments will be served in the hallway near S228 at 11:45.


Free and open to the public.