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How will thawing permafrost change Alaska waters?

For Immediate Release
Jan. 20, 2006

As the Arctic climate warms, permafrost begins to thermally degrade.
Transformation of this frozen layer of earth triggers changes in every
aspect of surface water and energy in the Arctic. While the region
experiences warming, permafrost becomes thinner, and its extent in the
boreal forest shrinks. Alterations to permafrost also influence the look of
the northern landscape and the region’s climatology. In short, warming
climate and thawing permafrost create changes to the entire hydrological
cycle in Alaska.

Larry Hinzman, Deputy Director of the International Arctic Research Center
at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, will explain the impacts of thawing
permafrost on Alaska’s water in a free one-hour lecture on January 24.
“Warmer Climate, Thawing Permafrost: What Will Happen to Alaska’s Water?”
will begin at 7 p.m. in the Westmark Gold Room and is open to the public.
Get there early to enjoy educational displays and literature on permafrost.
All ages are welcome!

This is the third installment in the 2006 Science for Alaska Lecture Series,
an annual event coordinated and sponsored by the Geophysical Institute at
the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Lectures will run every Tuesday at 7
p.m. through February 14.

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