How has global warming affected Arctic permafrost?

On Monday, northern researcher Chris Burn comes to York to talk about the impact of climate change on permafrost in Canada’s western Arctic.

For almost 30 years, Burn has closely observed changes in the frozen terrain around Mayo, in central Yukon, and in the Mackenzie River Delta. At Mayo, he is examining the "drunken" forest, where trees tilt as the permafrost thaws below them. In the outer Mackenzie Delta, he has obtained substantial evidence of permafrost thaw due to climate warming. There he is investigating ground deformation near ice wedges, and ground movement during permafrost development in drained lakes, including the growth of frozen mounds called pingos.

Burn holds a Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council of Canada Northern Research Chair in the Department of Geography & Environmental Studies at Carleton University. He is a vice-president of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, and currently serves as chair of the society’s Research & Grants Committee.

His research involves collaboration with the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun in central Yukon, and federal and terrritorial governments.   

The York Geography Alumni Lecture Series has invited Burn to speak on March 8 at 5:30pm in 304 Accolade Building West.