Nature Blog: Arctic coastal erosion accelerates permafrost carbon loss

David Nielsen has written a blog post for the Nature Sustainability Community blog about his latest publications, a study on modelled coastal erosion magnitude, timing and sensitivity with respect to global warming.

"In our recent work published in Nature Climate Change, we made the first estimates of future coastal erosion rates and the associated organic carbon loss from permafrost at the pan-Arctic scale in a wide range of future scenarios for the 21st century. We project the Arctic-mean erosion rate to very likely exceed its historical range of variability before 2100, even in the low-emission SSP1-2.6 scenario, in which society globally cooperates for a transition towards renewable energy sources. However, in SSP1-2.6, erosion rates stabilize at around 2050, while in other scenarios it continues to steadily increase. Arctic coastal erosion rates could double or triple by 2100 in comparison to historical values (1850-1900) in the intermediate and high-emission scenarios SSP2-4.5 and SSP5-8.5, respectively. For each degree of increase in global-mean surface air temperature, coastal erosion would release between 2.3 (SSP2-4.5) and 4.2 (SSP1-2.6) Tg (or million tons) of organic carbon from permafrost every year. Sensitivity of erosion to global warming is larger in low-emission scenarios, which follows the effect of the Arctic warming amplification."

Read David's blog post here in the Nature Sustainability Community.