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PYRN Drilling

PYRN TSP logoPYRN – TSP (The PYRN drilling project)is a contribution to the International Polar Year (IPY) which addresses the burning issue of impacts of increasing global temperatures on terrestrial permafrost.

Recent major concerns about potential impacts of permafrost thawing on man-made infrastructure, carbon pools stored in permafrost (that can potentially be released to the atmosphere) and threat to biodiversity has prompted the launch of international projects aiming at creating a globally consistent approach to permafrost monitoring, but the current knowledge on the extent and the thermal conditions of permafrost is scarce.

In order to increase our knowledge on permafrost temperatures and predict the fate of permafrost in ignored regions, the Permafrost Young Researchers Network (www.pyrn.org) initiated this project in close cooperation with the International Permafrost Association.

The project has two major goals:

• To learn more about the extent and thermal state of permafrost by establishing monitoring sites and recording permafrost temperatures. We will also help to define the threats that thawing permafrost poses for infrastructure (e.g. damaged buildings and roads), biodiversity (e.g. habitat loss) and carbon pools (release of greenhouse gases). The information received from the monitoring will be made freely available so that data can be set within a global context and be used to predict future impacts.Drilling on the Yukon Coast

• To facilitate the development of a new generation of permafrost scientists and engineers that collaborate and work within a wider international context.

The scientific goal will be achieved by drilling boreholes (redrilling old holes to detect trends and drilling new ones to increase the spatial coverage of monitoring). The project will supply lightweight drills, low-cost temperature sensors, data loggers and travel resources to perform field instrumentation and record permafrost tempeatures. The project will deliver a series of academic publications and will also provide other communities (e.g. the modeling community, ecologists, engineers and others) within the IPY with data needed to predict future impacts of thawing permafrost. The project will in addition have a series of outreach activities.

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