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Permafrost is a dynamic, but understudied, element of Arctic coastal areas that is presently responding to climate warming with potentially far-reaching impacts on terrestrial and marine processes and ecosystems, geohazards, biogeochemical processes, and freshwater flux. In order to address societal needs at local, regional, and global scales, there is a need to identify and address key research gaps and adopt a transdisciplinary approach to permafrost research.


GRID-Arendal coordinated the development of a Rapid Response Assessment (RRA) to assess critical research gaps related to Arctic coastal permafrost and to consider how these gaps can be addressed through international cooperation. Along with an extensive science review of coastal and offshore permafrost, the report also considers the perspectives and concerns of Arctic peoples and how changes in coastal permafrost affect their daily lives. Residents from affected communities in the western Canadian Arctic were influential in focusing the scope of the assessment – a first for a report in the RRA series.


The report is also the first RRA produced using ArcGIS StoryMap technology, which enables a rich online viewing experience with interactive maps, innovative graphics, and video. In addition to the two parts of the main report, there is also a crowdsource StoryMap where people can share their own observations and experiences related to coastal permafrost.

Status: Completed

Type: Polar

Programme: Polar and Climate

Tags: permafrost Coastal Arctic

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GRID-Arendal's activities support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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GRID-Arendal's activities are nearly always a cooperative undertaking made possible through collaboration with our various partners, and donors.

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