Accession Number:



The Impacts of Climate Change and Anthropogenic Processes on Permafrost Soils and USAF Infrastructure within Northern Tier Bases

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report,27 Aug 2015,24 Mar 2017

Corporate Author:

Air Force Institute of Technology WPAFB United States

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The Department of Defense is planning over 552M in military construction on Eielson Air Force Base within the next three fiscal years. Although many studies havebeen conducted on permafrost and climate change, the future of our climate as well as any impacts on permafrost soils, remains unclear. This research focused on future climate predictions to determine likely scenarios for the United States Air Forces Strategic Planners to consider. The most recent 2013 International Panel on Climate Change report predicts a 2.2C to 7.8C temperature rise in Arctic regions by the end of the 21st Century in the Representative Concentration Pathways, RCP4.5 emissions scenario. This study provides an explanation as to the impacts of this temperature rise on permafrost soils and Arctic infrastructure. This study developed regression models to analyze historical data related to degree-days, temperature, and seasonal lengths. Initial analysis using regressionforecast techniques show a 1.17C temperature increase in the Arctic by the end of the 21st Century. Additionally, UAFs GIPL 2.1 model was used to calculate active layer thicknesses and permafrost thickness changes from 1947 to 2100. Results show that the active layer is thinning with some permafrost degradation. This research focused on Central Alaska while further research is recommended on the Alaskan North Slope and Greenland to determine additional impacts on Department of Defense infrastructure.

Subject Categories:

  • Snow, Ice and Permafrost
  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies
  • Statistics and Probability

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