Vladimir E Romanovsky

Vladimir E Romanovsky
University of Alaska System · Geophysical Institute

42.36
 · 
PhD

About

407
Publications
62,587
Reads
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19,264
Citations
Research Experience
May 1996 - present
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Position
  • Professor (Full)
September 1975 - August 1992
Lomonosov Moscow State University
Position
  • Researcher, Professor (Associate)

Publications

Publications (407)
Article
Full-text available
The original version of this Article contained an error in the author affiliations. Affiliation 5 incorrectly read ‘Tyumen State Oil and Gas University, Tyumen, Tyument. Oblast, Russian Federation, 625000’.This has now been corrected in both the PDF and HTML versions of the Article.
Article
Full-text available
Recent observations of near-surface soil temperatures over the circumpolar Arctic show accelerated warming of permafrost-affected soils. The availability of a comprehensive near-surface permafrost and active layer dataset is critical to better understanding climate impacts and to constraining permafrost thermal conditions and its spatial distributi...
Article
Full-text available
Degradation of near-surface permafrost can pose a serious threat to the utilization of natural resources, and to the sustainable development of Arctic communities. Here we identify at unprecedentedly high spatial resolution infrastructure hazard areas in the Northern Hemi- sphere’s permafrost regions under projected climatic changes and quantify fu...
Article
Full-text available
Ice wedge polygons on the North Slope of Alaska have been forming for many millennia, when the ground thermally contracts in the winter and water fills in the cracks during the snowmelt season. The infiltrated water then freezes and turns into ice. In this paper we investigate temperature dynamics around the ice wedges and surrounding permafrost. A...
Article
Full-text available
Local observations indicate that climate change and shifting disturbance regimes are causing permafrost degradation. However, the occurrence and distribution of permafrost region disturbances (PRDs) remain poorly resolved across the Arctic and Subarctic. Here we quantify the abundance and distribution of three primary PRDs using time-series analysi...
Article
To investigate and monitor permafrost in the Bayan Har Mountains (BHM), northeastern Qinghai–Tibet Plateau, south‐west China, 19 boreholes ranging from 20 to 100 m in depth were drilled along an elevational transect (4,221–4,833 m a.s.l.) from July to September 2010. Measurements from these boreholes demonstrate that ground temperatures at the dept...
Poster
Full-text available
Key results of the INFRAHAZARD project
Article
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Eroding permafrost coasts are likely indicators and integrators of changes in the Arctic System as they are susceptible to the combined effects of declining sea ice extent, increases in open water duration, more frequent and impactful storms, sea-level rise, and warming permafrost. However, few observation sites in the Arctic have yet to link decad...
Article
Increase of surface temperatures has long been recognized as an unequivocal response to radiative forcing and one of the most important implications for global warming. However, it remains unclear whether the variation of ground surface temperature (GST) and soil temperatures is consistent with simultaneous changes of the near‐surface air and land...
Article
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Questions How do plant communities on zonal loamy vs. sandy soils vary across the full maritime Arctic bioclimate gradient? How are plant communities of these areas related to existing vegetation units of the European Vegetation Classification? What are the main environmental factors controlling the transitions of vegetation along the bioclimate gr...
Article
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Through taliks – thawed zones extending through the entire permafrost layer – represent a critical type of heterogeneity that affects water redistribution and heat transport, especially in sloping landscapes. The formation of through taliks as part of the transition from continuous to discontinuous permafrost creates new hydrologic pathways connect...
Article
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Across the Arctic, the net ecosystem carbon (C) balance of tundra ecosystems is highly uncertain due to substantial temporal variability of C fluxes and to landscape heterogeneity. We modeled both carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) fluxes for the dominant land cover types in a ~100 km² sub‐Arctic tundra region in northeast European Russia for t...
Article
This model‐based study assesses the response of the lower atmosphere and near‐surface permafrost on the North Slope of Alaska to projections in sea ice decline. The Weather Research and Forecast model, with polar optimization (polar WRF), was configured for the North Slope of Alaska and the adjacent Arctic Ocean and run for two decade‐long control...
Article
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Permafrost, as an important part of the Cryosphere, has been strongly affected by climate warming, and a wide spread of permafrost responses to the warming is currently observed. In particular, at some locations rather slow rates of permafrost degradations are noticed. We related this behavior to the presence of unfrozen water in frozen fine-graine...
Article
Full-text available
Recent observations of near-surface soil temperatures over the circumpolar Arctic show accelerated warming of permafrost-affected soils. A comprehensive near-surface permafrost temperature dataset is critical to better understand climate impacts and to constrain permafrost thermal conditions and spatial distribution in land system models. We compil...
Article
Full-text available
We conducted a model-based assessment of changes in permafrost area and carbon storage for simulations driven by RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 projections between 2010 and 2299 for the northern permafrost region. All models simulating carbon represented soil with depth, a critical structural feature needed to represent the permafrost carbon-climate feedback, b...
Article
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Thaw and release of permafrost carbon (C) due to climate change is likely to offset increased vegetation C uptake in northern high-latitude (NHL) terrestrial ecosystems. Models project that this permafrost C feedback may act as a slow leak, in which case detection and attribution of the feedback may be difficult. The formation of talik, a subsurfac...
Article
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Cryopegs, lenses of hypersaline unfrozen soil or water within permafrost, are a model for astrobiology, since free water can only be present on cryogenic bodies and planets in the form of brine. In this paper the diversity of aerobic halophilic-psychrotrophic microorganisms from an Alaskan cryopeg (Barrow Cape) were studied and described for the fi...
Chapter
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This update of findings on permafrost adds to the benchmark assessments on snow, water, ice and permafrost in the previous SWIPA assessment. It provides a synthesis of current knowledge across the circumpolar permafrost regions on the thermal state of permafrost (Section 4.2), permafrost modeling and projections of future permafrost states (Section...
Article
Full-text available
Thaw and release of permafrost carbon (C) due to climate change is likely to offset increased vegetation C uptake in Northern High Latitude (NHL) terrestrial ecosystems. Models project that this permafrost C feedback may act as a slow leak, in which case detection and attribution of the feedback may be difficult. The formation of talik, a sub-surfa...
Article
Full-text available
Historically, in-situ measurements have been notoriously sparse over the Arctic. As a consequence, the existing gridded data of Surface Air Temperature (SAT) may have large biases in estimating the warming trend in this region. Using data from an expanded monitoring network with 31 stations in the Alaskan Arctic, we demonstrate that the SAT has inc...
Chapter
Full-text available
Ch 7. Regional Climates: f. Europe and the Middle East
Article
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Permafrost is a distinct feature of the terrestrial Arctic and is vulnerable to climate warming. Permafrost degrades in different ways, including deepening of a seasonally unfrozen surface and localized but rapid development of deep thaw features. Pleistocene ice-rich permafrost with syngenetic ice-wedges, termed Yedoma deposits, are widespread in...
Article
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Microtopographic features, such as polygonal ground, are characteristic sources of landscape heterogeneity in the Alaskan Arctic coastal plain. Here, we analyze the effects of snow redistribution (SR) and lateral subsurface processes on hydrologic and thermal states at a polygonal tundra site near Barrow, Alaska. We extended the land model integrat...
Article
Full-text available
The few prethaw observations of tundra carbon fluxes suggest that there may be large spring releases, but little is known about the scale and underlying mechanisms of this phenomenon. To address these questions, we combined ecosystem eddy flux measurements from two towers near Barrow, Alaska, with mechanistic soil-core thawing experiment. During a...
Article
Full-text available
The few pre-thaw observations of tundra carbon fluxes suggest that there may be large spring releases, but little is known about the scale and underlying mechanisms of this phenomenon. To address these questions, we combined ecosystem eddy flux measurements from two towers near Barrow, Alaska with mechanistic soil-core thawing experiment. During a...
Article
Full-text available
Thawing and freezing of Arctic soils is affected by many factors, with air temperature, vegetation, snow accumulation, and soil physical properties and soil moisture among the most important. We enhance the Geophysical Institute Permafrost Laboratory model and develop several high spatial resolution scenarios of changes in permafrost characteristic...
Technical Report
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We used the GIPL 1.0 model to produce near-surface permafrost maps for the Arctic Network for different time-periods. We used CRU (1950-1959 and 2000-2009) and projected 5-GCM composite (2051-2060, and 2091-2100) decadal climate forcing, ecotype and soil landscape (Jorgenson et al 2009) maps of Arctic Network to model the presence or absence of nea...
Article
Releases of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) from thawing permafrost are expected to be among the largest feedbacks to climate from arctic ecosystems. However, the current net carbon (C) balance of terrestrial arctic ecosystems is unknown. Recent studies suggest that these ecosystems are sources, sinks, or approximately i...
Article
Full-text available
Permafrost presence is determined by a complex interaction of climatic, topographic, and ecological conditions operating over long time scales. In particular, vegetation and organic layer characteristics may act to protect permafrost in regions with a mean annual air temperature (MAAT) above 0 °C. In this study, we document the presence of residual...
Article
Full-text available
Permafrost temperatures are increasing in Alaska due to climate change and in some cases permafrost is thawing and degrading. In areas where degradation has already occurred the effects can be dramatic, resulting in changing ecosystems, carbon release, and damage to infrastructure. However, in many areas we lack baseline data, such as subsurface te...
Article
Full-text available
Thermokarst is the process whereby the thawing of ice-rich permafrost ground causes land subsidence, resulting in development of distinctive landforms. Accelerated thermokarst due to climate change will damage infrastructure, but also impact hydrology, ecology and bio-geochemistry. Here, we present a circumpolar assessment of the distribution of th...
Data
Supplementary Figures 1-3, Supplementary Tables 1-6 and Supplementary References
Article
Full-text available
Vast carbon stocks stored in permafrost soils of Arctic tundra are under risk of release to the atmosphere under warming climate scenarios. Ice-wedge polygons in the low-gradient polygonal tundra create a complex mosaic of microtopographic features. This microtopography plays a critical role in regulating the fine-scale variability in thermal and h...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The Columbia Climate Center, in partnership with World Wildlife Fund, Woods Hole Research Center, and Arctic 21, held a workshop titled A 5 C Arctic in a 2 C World on July 20 and 21, 2016. The workshop was co-sponsored by the International Arctic Research Center (University of Alaska Fairbanks), the Arctic Institute of North America (Canada), the M...
Article
In landscapes underlain by ice-rich permafrost, the development of thermokarst landforms can have drastic impacts on ecosystem processes and human infrastructure. Here we describe the distribution of thermokarst landforms in the continuous permafrost zone of Arctic Alaska, analyze linkages to the underlying surficial geology, and discuss the vulner...
Article
Full-text available
In the Arctic, the 2015 land surface temperature was 1.2°C above the 1981–2010 average, tying 2007 and 2011 for the highest annual temperature and representing a 2.8°C increase since the record began in 1900. Increasing temperatures have led to decreasing Arctic sea ice extent and thickness. On 25 February 2015, the lowest maximum sea ice extent in...
Conference Paper
Arctic clastic coastlines are some of the most dynamic in the world and have a large impact on cultural and natural resources. Sea ice plays an important role in the erosion and accretion dynamics of these coastlines, and sea ice cover is currently declining at >10% per decade. As a result of declining sea ice cover and an increase in the duration...
Poster
Ice-wedges are common permafrost features formed over hundreds to thousands of years of repeated frost cracking and ice vein growth. We used field and remote sensing observations to assess changes in areas dominated by ice-wedges, and we simulated the effects of those changes on snow accumulation and runoff. We show that top melting of ice-wedges a...
Article
A significant portion of the large amount of carbon (C) currently stored in soils of the permafrost region in the Northern Hemisphere has the potential to be emitted as the greenhouse gases CO2 and CH4 under a warmer climate. In this study we evaluated the variability in the sensitivity of permafrost and C in recent decades among land surface model...
Article
Full-text available
Permafrost presence is determined by a complex interaction of climatic, topographic, and ecological conditions operating over long time scales. In particular, vegetation and organic layer characteristics may act to protect permafrost in regions with a mean annual air temperature (MAAT) above 0 °C. In this study, we document the presence of residual...
Article
Full-text available
Interactions and feedbacks between abundant surface waters and permafrost fundamentally shape lowland Arctic landscapes. Sublake permafrost is maintained when the maximum ice thickness (MIT) exceeds lake depth and mean annual bed temperatures (MABTs) remain below freezing. However, declining MIT since the 1970s is likely causing talik development b...
Article
The permafrost component of the cryosphere is changing dramatically, but the permafrost region is not well monitored and the consequences of change are not well understood. Changing permafrost interacts with ecosystems and climate on various spatial and temporal scales. The feedbacks resulting from these interactions range from local impacts on top...
Article
Full-text available
Ice wedges are common features of the subsurface in permafrost regions. They develop by repeated frost cracking and ice vein growth over hundreds to thousands of years. Ice-wedge formation causes the archetypal polygonal patterns seen in tundra across the Arctic landscape. Here we use field and remote sensing observations to document polygon succes...
Poster
Full-text available
Greening of the Arctic: An IPY initiative
Article
Full-text available
Permafrost temperatures are increasing in Alaska due to climate change and in some cases permafrost is thawing and degrading. In areas where degradation has already occurred the effects can be dramatic, resulting in changing ecosystems, carbon release, and damage to infrastructure. Yet in many areas we lack baseline data, such as subsurface tempera...
Article
Full-text available
Vast carbon stocks stored in permafrost soils of Arctic tundra are under risk of release to atmosphere under warming climate. Ice-wedge polygons in the low-gradient polygonal tundra create a complex mosaic of microtopographic features. The microtopography plays a critical role in regulating the fine scale variability in thermal and hydrological reg...
Article
The effects of soil property uncertainties on permafrost thaw projections are studied using a three-phase subsurface thermal hydrology model and calibration-constrained uncertainty analysis. The null-space Monte Carlo method is used to identify soil hydrothermal parameter combinations that are consistent with borehole temperature measurements at th...