New permafrost found at Interior lake

Scientists with McGill University in Montreal and the U.S. Geological Survey have found new permafrost forming at an Arctic lake in Alaska’s Interior.

Twelvemile Lake, which had been shrinking in part due to melting permafrost, among other factors, has lost water at what researchers called “an alarming rate,” dropping some 15 feet in three decades. But the receding waters allowed willow bushes to take hold, providing shade, which cooled the soil, allowing for the growth of new permafrost.

“The researchers were initially very excited by this find,” a McGill University article noted. “But after analyzing the thickness of the new permafrost and projecting how it will be affected by continued climate change and the expected rise in temperature in the Arctic of 3°C, they arrived at the conclusion that the new permafrost won’t last beyond the end of the century.”

Anchorage Daily News