Permafrost thaw is adversely impacting critical infrastructure in Arctic and sub-arctic regions. The impact on infrastructure is expected to increase with projected climate change and will continue to have social, economic, and environmental consequences, if not adequately addressed. Our ability to construct and maintain sustainable infrastructure requires a comprehensive understanding of permafrost, among other things. This presentation will highlight several case studies where a permafrost framework has been developed to inform infrastructure design, mitigation strategies, and future adaptation to climate change. For each case, a synthesis of local and regional data has been used to define past, present, and future permafrost conditions. Commonly used datasets include satellite and airborne remote sensing, ground-based geophysics, geotechnical drill holes and instrumentation, climate change projections, and numerical ground thermal modelling. This information is collectively used by subject matter experts to build a permafrost framework from which informed decisions can be made. In some cases, three-dimensional models are constructed as part of the framework to support infrastructure design and more effectively communicate complex information to stakeholders.
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