The new year starts with the publication of a scientific article penned by Nordregio researchers, focusing on the impact of permafrost thaw on the people living in the Arctic circumpolar permafrost region.
In 2017, close to five million people lived in 1162 permafrost settlements in the Arctic Circumpolar Permafrost Region. As a result of permafrost thaw, the number of inhabitants is projected to decrease by 61.2%, from 4.9 million to 1.7 million—many of them living in permafrost-free areas by 2050. Titled “Population on Permafrost in the Arctic”, the paper is the first demographic study assessing the population living in these areas and the huge impact of permafrost thaw upon their lives. Half of the current settlements will be affected, eventually disappearing due to thawing of permafrost. The consequences will vary depending on the remaining ones’ location, future climate trajectories and the extent to which settlements can adapt in the remaining time before permafrost thaws.
The authors of the paper published in the journal of Population and Environment are Nordregio Research Fellows Justine Ramage, Leneisja Jungsberg, Senior Research Fellow Tim Heleniak and GIS Specialist Shinan Wang.