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Permafrost data available to all

A map showing the extent of permafrost across the northern hemisphere and monitoring sites included in the database.

Scientists from around the world have launched a new website which makes information about permafrost in the Arctic available to all. 

A website launched by the Global Terrestrial Network for Permafrost is a freely available collection of ground-temperature data that spans he entire Arctic region. It is a product of a global collaboration of universities and research institutes, and enables anyone to try their hand at being an arctic scientist or engineer.

“This is open to the public, so anyone can go and play with the raw data or look at the plots and maps that have already been generated,” Thomas Ingeman-Nielsen, associate professor at the Arctic Technology Centre at the Technical University of Denmark says to Science Nordic.

With the new temperature database, scientists are now able to check climate model predictions against observations from right across the Arctic region. The data can be used in practical planning of infrastructure development in regions with permafrost, for example to study how permafrost reacts to the construction of buildings or airports when temperatures change.

The website includes data on ground temperatures in permafrost and the thickness of the so-called active layer, which is the soil layer above permafrost that thaws in the summer.

So far, the scientists have collected data going back almost 50 years from all across the Arctic.