Printversion of this page
PDF-Version of this page


Changing permafrost in the Arctic and its Global Effects in the 21st Century (PAGE21)






PAGE21 (Changing permafrost in the Arctic and its Global Effects in the 21st Century) is a Large-scale integrating collaborative project under the ENV call topic "Vulnerability of Arctic permafrost to climate change and implications for global GHG emissions and future climate" (ENV.2011.1.1.3-1) coordinated by Prof. Hans-Wolfgang Hubberten (AWI).

Permafrost is defined as ground that remains continuously at or below 0°C or at least two consecutive years; some 24% of the land surface in the northern Hemisphere is classified as permafrost. In the Northern high latitudes, strong warming has been observed over the recent decades, and climate models project strong future warming. A projected decline in the extent of permafrost will have a major impact on the Earth system, affecting global climate through the mobilization of carbon and nitrogen stored in permafrost.


PAGE21 aims to understand and quantify the vulnerability of permafrost environments to a  changing global climate, and to investigate the feedback mechanisms associated with increasing greenhouse gas emissions from permafrost zones. This research makes use of a unique set of Arctic permafrost investigations performed at stations that span the full range of Arctic bioclimatic zones. The project brings together the best European permafrost researchers and eminent scientists from Canada, Russia, the USA, and Japan.

The project combines field measurements of permafrost processes, pools, and fluxes, with remote sensing data and global climate models at local, regional  and, for the first time, pan-Arctic scales. The output from this research will help to advance the understanding of permafrost processes at multiple scales, resulting in improvements in global numerical  permafrost modeling and the ensuing future climate projections, as well as in the assessment of stabilisation scenarios.

These outputs will feed into global assessments and international monitoring programs, in which most of the consortium members are already actively participating in leading roles. This project will, in particular, provide projections on a pan-Arctic scale of greenhouse gas releases from  the projected thawing of permafrost terrain during the 21st century, with direct implications for global policy discussions on emission reduction targets.


Key objectives

The key objectives of PAGE21 are:

  • to improve our understanding of the processes affecting the size of the arctic permafrost carbon and nitrogen pools through detailed field studies and monitoring, in order to quantify their size and their vulnerability to climate change,
  • to produce, assemble and assess high-quality datasets in order to develop and evaluate representations of permafrost and related processes in global models,
  • to improve these models accordingly,
  • to use these models to reduce the uncertainties in feedbacks from arctic permafrost to global change, thereby providing the means to assess the feasibility of stabilization scenarios, and
  • to ensure widespread dissemination of our results in order to provide direct input into the ongoing debate on climate-change mitigation.


Project Facts

  • Name: Changing Permafrost in the Arctic and its Global Effects in the 21st Century (PAGE21)
  • Instrument:  Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)
  • Total Budget: 9 318 086,20 EUR
  • EU contribution: 6 951 895,00 EUR
  • Project Duration: 48 months
  • Starting Date:  November 1, 2011
  • Consortium: 18 partners from Austria, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Great Britain, Island, Netherlands, Norway, Russian Federation, Sweden

Printversion of this page
PDF-Version of this page


Prof. Hans-Wolfgang Hubberten

Coordination Team:
Dr. Julia Boike                       Dr. Hugues Lantuit

Project Manager:
Leena-Kaisa Viitanen

Project Assistant:
Heike Midleja


Blogs from Expeditions 2014

Herschel Island: AWI Cooper group about their expedition on Herschel Island, Canada

Seida: PAGE21 partners from the University of Eastern Finland about their measurement campaign in Seida, Russia

Cherskii: PAGE21 PhD student from Max-Planck-Institute for Biogeochemistry, Germany blogging from Cherskii, Russia

Blogs from past expeditions