New European Space Agency Project Focused on Earth Observations for Permafrost-Dominated Arctic Coasts

Annett Bartsch (b.geos, Austria), Guido Grosse (AWI, Germany), Hugues Lantuit (AWI, Germany), Julia Boike (AWI, Germany), Goncalo Vieira (IGOT, Portugal), Benjamin Jones (UAF, USA), Dustin Whalen (NRC, Canada), Isla Myers-Smith (Univ. of Edinburgh, Scotland), and Jeff Kerby (Aarhus Univ., Denmark) were recently awarded a grant from the European Space Agency (ESA) Polar Science Cluster to develop the next generation of the Arctic Coastal Dynamics database, a geospatial product on Arctic coastal erosion initially released in 2012. The project, Earth Observation for Permafrost dominated Arctic Coasts (EO4PAC), will run from 2021-2023.

The focus is on complementation of in situ records with satellite data across the entire Arctic. Products will include updated coastal erosion rates as well as infrastructure information along Arctic coasts based on Sentinel-1/2 remote sensing data. For the first time, consistent information across the entire Arctic will be made available and will be used to create synthesis products and risk assessments for the entire Arctic coastline. This will be enabled through networking, synthesis and analysis activities of different inputs and contributions across the community.

The EO4PAC effort will reinforce collaboration between existing projects funded by ESA (CCI Permafrost), EU Horizon 2020 (Nunataryuk), the International Arctic Research Council (IASC) program T-MOSAIC, and two US National Science Foundation awards (the Permafrost Discovery Gateway and the Permafrost Coastal Systems Network (PerCS-Net).

Arctic Coastal Dynamics circum-Arctic GIS database

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Map of Arctic coastal type, permafrost distribution and sea-ice extent.

New Pan-Arctic Synthesis Paper Published in Nature Reviews

More than 10 PerCS-Net members collaborated on a recent review paper that was published in the journal Nature Reviews Earth & Environment in January 2022 highlighting the drivers, dynamics and impacts of changing Arctic coasts. The article is one of a collection of papers on Permafrost in a warming world published in January that examine the physical, biogeochemical, and ecosystem changes related to permafrost thaw and the associated impacts.

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