The Arctic is undergoing major change in response to rising global temperatures. Permafrost is thawing in response and resulting in ground destabilisation and soil carbon release is amplified. High latitude permafrost regions are considered a tipping element in the Earth’s climate system and so an area of intense research.
Earth Observation provides the means to monitor both the relevant essential climate variables and the expanding land use in the Arctic region. Recent satellite missions, data products developed via ESA's Climate Change Initiative, and used in the framework of Copernicus offer the necessary level of detail to strengthen scientific understanding of change across the Arctic's permafrost areas.
As part of the International Space Science Institute's regular “Game Changers” on-line seminar series , Annet Bartsch, of b geos and science leader for the ESA's Climate Change Initiative permafrost project provided sight into the potential of Earth Observation to reveal patterns of permafrost thaw as well as expanding direct human impact across the Arctic.