Permafrost hot topic at Arctic conference

Last Updated: Friday, December 15, 2006 | 6:42 PM CT

Michel Allard, a permafrost specialist … warned that northern communities will have to improve their planning to deal with significant changes in the permafrost.

Permafrost is soil that remains under 0 C year round and can extend hundreds of metres deep.

It makes up almost half of Canada’s land mass and is found in all three territories and the northern regions of most provinces.

Allard said a 2 C increase in ground temperature has led to more melting. …
Some towns and hamlets in northern Quebec are already preparing for the changes by drawing up new maps that show where it’s safe to build and areas where construction should be avoided, he said….

Both Couture and Allard said the key to dealing with the changes is for northerners to plan ahead and adapt.

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