Nunataryuk will study local and global impacts of permafrost thaw in coastal areas in the Arctic. The project will focus on ten sites in three geographical areas, the Beaufort Sea, the East Siberia and the Nordic areas, located along the Arctic permafrost coast.
The Nunataryuk focal areas will cover all topics to be studied in the different Work Packages, and allow the Principal Investigators to cover the whole spectrum of processes at work at the land-ocean interface. The knowledge gained in the areas as a whole will be used to inform large-scale modelling exercises to be conducted in Work Package 3, Work Package 4 and Work Package 8 and to formulate adaptation and mitigation strategies meaningful at the circumarctic level and directly relevant to global efforts such as Future Earth Coasts or the IPCC Assessment Reports.
The work conducted in communities in these focal areas will be targeted and will address community-specific issues related to permafrost thaw and its impacts. Many of the coastlines of the Nordic Area are, for instance, stable rocky coastlines where permafrost-related challenges are mainly limited to onshore infrastructure, while the East Siberia and the Beaufort Sea coastlines are mostly unconsolidated ice-rich permafrost, leading to threats from coastal erosion. Some communities, such as Tiksi and Longyearbyen, are important regional hubs facing different demographic shifts that differ from pressures unique to the smaller communities. Inclusion of a diversity of communities is essential to the improvement of the projection of impacts and to an exchange of knowledge that will lead to better adaptation strategies at the circum-Arctic level.
The field sites have been further selected to offer the best available platforms for the nurturing of strong partnerships with local stakeholders, for overlap with existing monitoring programs, for the validation of large scale models and the study of land-sea processes. These are often embedded in existing monitoring networks such as the GTN-P program, the Pan-Arctic Network of Terrestrial Field Bases (INTERACT II), the Circum- Arctic Coastal Communities KnOwledge Network (CACCON) or the starting EU project INTAROS, taking advantage of funded initiatives to conduct permafrost-related studies at these sites. The Nunataryuk project sites are also supported through other initiatives such as the ITN C-CASCADES, the ESA GlobPermafrost project or the CryoNet program of the World Meteorological Organization.