Permafrost Carbon Feedback Action Group


Permafrost Carbon Feedback Intervention RoadMap Dialogues

Hosted by the PCF Action Group 


Presented by the Canadian Permafrost Association in partnership with Institute for Breakthrough Energy Technologies CCC Ltd. (IBET)




The global effort to address climate change currently lacks a technical or policy framework that adequately accounts for major feedback mechanisms, including the accelerating thaw in global permafrost. Accordingly, for the first time ever, world-class experts are convening in a series of workshops to begin creating a PCF Intervention RoadMap – an action guide for policy makers and investors. This process is intended as a regional supplement to global decarbonization efforts and a complement to initiatives addressing the local geophysical impacts of permafrost thaw.


Permafrost in Arctic tundra and in high-elevation regions has in past been one of the world’s largest carbon sinks, storing twice as much carbon as the atmosphere. Warming global temperatures, however, are accelerating permafrost thaw, turning the sink into a source. The PCF Action Group will be examining technologies and methods of reducing permafrost thaw and/or limiting emissions where thaw cannot be reduced, and weighing their relative impacts – to identify the most promising areas for research and development and to create a first-draft PCF Intervention RoadMap to assist policymakers and green investors.


The PCF Intervention Roadmap consisted of four 90-minute Zoom-based Dialogues:


  1. Opening Dialogue: Why Permafrost Carbon Matters (March 4)
  2. Avoiding Permafrost Thaw: Managing Temperature (March 11)
  3. Are Permafrost Thaw Interventions Possible? (March 18)
  4. Permafrost Carbon Feedback – Priorities for Research, Policy and Investment (March 25)


For more information, visit



Dialogue 1 - Opening Dialogue: Why Permafrost Carbon Matters




Click here to read the summary document of Dialogue 1.



Dialogue 2 - Avoiding Permafrost Thaw: Managing Temperature





PCF Action Group - Reading Suggestions: 


- Could climate interventions slow the melting of the cryosphere? by John Moore (link)

- New study helps policymakers combat global warming with negative-emissions technology. (link)

- Climate Change and the Permafrost Carbon Feedback (link)

- The Permafrost Prediction (T. Schuur) (link)

- Arctic Report Card 2019 (link)

- Climate change and the permafrost carbon feedback (Schuur et al., 2015) (link)

- What COVID-19 and climate change teach us about “syndemics" (link)

- Beyond COP21: Collaborating with Indigenous People to Understand Climate Change and the Arctic  (link)



PCF Action Group in the News:


Vancouver Sun (Feb 26, 2021): B.C. permafrost warming comes with climate warning (link)

Vancouver Sun (Feb 27, 2021): Michael Brown and Duane Froese: Thawing permafrost is a northern crisis and a global threat (link)

Vancouver Sun  (Mar 04, 2021): Richard Littlemore: Permafrost carbon feedback could be the disaster that saves us all (link)

The Chrinical Herald (Mar 05, 2021): Arctic might seem remote to many, impacts on it have implications for all, dialogue hears (link)

Vancouver Sun (Mar 05, 2021):  Arctic might seem remote to many, impacts on it have implications for all, dialogue hears (link only with subscriptions)



Publications of interest

Disclaimer: this list is not exhaustive, but may help as a starter.


​Targeted Geoengineering: Local Interventions with Global Implications

John C. Moore, Ilona Mettiainen, Michael Wolovick, Liyun Zhao,  Rupert Gladstone, Ying Chen, Stefan Kirchner & Timo Koivurova
Global Policy (2020) https://doi: 10.1111/1758-5899.12867 (link)


Negative-emissions technology portfolios to meet the 1.5 °C target

O.Rueda, J.M.Mogollón, A.Tukkera & L.Scherera

Global Environmental Change 102238 (In Press). (link)


Permafrost collapse is accelerating carbon release

Merritt R. Turetsky, Benjamin W. Abbott, Miriam C. Jones, Katey Walter Anthony, David Olefeldt, Edward A. G. Schuur, Charles Koven, A. David McGuire, Guido Grosse, Peter Kuhry, Gustaf Hugelius, David M. Lawrence, Carolyn Gibson & A. Britta K. Sannel

Nature 569, 32-34 (2019). (link)


Mapping carbon accumulation potential from global natural forest regrowth

Susan C. Cook-Patton, Sara M. Leavitt, […] Bronson W. Griscom 

Nature 585, 545–550 (2020). (link)