NUNATARYUK - Impacts of thawing coastal and subsea permafrost on coastal communities in the Arctic and the global climate system

Project Details


Most human activity in the Arctic takes place along permafrost coasts and these coasts have become one of the most dynamic ecosystems on Earth. Permafrost thaw is exposing these coasts to rapid change, change that threatens the rich biodiversity, puts pressure on communities and contributes to the vulnerability of the global climate system. NUNATARYUK works on determining the impacts of thawing coastal and subsea permafrost on the global climate, and developing targeted and co-designed adaptation and mitigation strategies for the Arctic coastal population.

NUNATARYUK is guided by a Stakeholders’ Forum of representatives from Arctic coastal communities and indigenous societies, creating a legacy of collaborative community involvement and a mechanism for developing and applying innovative evidence-based interventions to enable the sustainable development of the Arctic.

DTU Civil Engineering contributes to the Nunataryuk work package on coastal infrastructure, with the aim to assess the impacts of permafrost thaw on coastal Arctic infrastructures and to provide a risk evaluation framework to facilitate the development of adaptation and mitigation solutions for permafrost thaw. We

Key findings

NUNATARYUK brings together world-leading specialists in natural science and socio-economics to:
1) develop quantitative understanding of the fluxes and fates of organic matter released from thawing coastal and subsea permafrost;
2) assess what risks are posed by thawing coastal permafrost, to infrastructure, indigenous and local communities and people’s health, and from pollution;
3) use this understanding to estimate the long-term impacts of permafrost thaw on global climate and the economy.

DTU Civil Engineering package on Coastal Infrastructure works towards:
1) quantifying the impacts of permafrost thaw by means of local site investigations, remote sensing technologies and local to regional scale modelling;
2) providing a technical basis to build decision support tools for local communities based on advanced multi-disciplinary hazard and risk evaluation frame works.
Effective start/end date01/11/201731/10/2023

Collaborative partners


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