Past and present permafrost as an indicator of climate change
The permafrost history of the high northern latitudes over the last two million years indicates that perennially frozen ground formed and thawed repeatedly, probably in close synchronicity with the climate changes that led to the expansion and subsequent shrinkage of continental ice sheets. The early stages of the Pleistocene are the least known and the changes that occurred in the Late Pleistocene and early Holocene are the best known. Evidence that permafrost is degrading in response to the current global warming trend is difficult to ascertain. The clearest signals are probably provided by changes in permafrost distribution in the sub-Arctic regions. at the extreme southern fringes of the discontinuous permafrost zone.
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