Google.org has announced a $5 million grant and Fellowship to Woodwell Climate Research Center for the expansion of the Permafrost Discovery Gateway. This initiative will revolutionize the accessibility of valuable information on changing permafrost conditions across the Arctic, and enable real-time tracking of permafrost thawing by using satellite imagery and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.
The Permafrost Discovery Gateway, hosted by the Arctic Data Center, acts as a centralized hub for researchers, educators, and the wider public to explore and have access to data pertaining to permafrost. With this funding, the incorporation of cutting-edge technologies will allow the gateway’s platform to expand and empower exploration, discovery, and understanding like never before. In collaboration with other partners, the Arctic Data Center is thrilled to ensure the long-term preservation of this data.
“Permafrost, often perceived as a distant phenomenon in the remote North, has broad impacts on the world that are yet not fully understood. The Arctic Data Center looks forward to preserving and sharing pan-Arctic permafrost datasets for anyone looking to find and utilize them for scientific research,” said Matthew Jones, Director of Informatics R&D at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis and Principal Investigator for the Arctic Data Center, University of California Santa Barbara. “Using this data, we collectively have the opportunity to understand the intricate and cascading effects of permafrost on a global scale and influence the trajectory of mitigation programs.”
Juliet Cohen, Data Scientist at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, University of California Santa Barbara said, “We’re excited to provide a powerful interactive visualization tool for researchers, educators, and community members to answer environmental questions about the Arctic region. By combining pan-Arctic datasets of surface water, permafrost, and communities, users can make connections about how these features interact. Through this new collaboration with Google, we can process these large datasets each time new satellite imagery is available, creating high-resolution time series data that will reveal how fast the landscape is changing with the warming climate.”
Google.org’s support in the expansion of the Permafrost Discovery Gateway marks a significant milestone for the Arctic Data Center and the global scientific community. This funding will help further unlock the potential of permafrost data, propelling climate change research to new heights. With enhanced capabilities, researchers will harness the power of collaboration and advanced analytics to gain invaluable insights into our changing world.
As we stand at a critical juncture in addressing climate change, the expanded Permafrost Discovery Gateway will be an invaluable resource. Through the collective efforts of organizations like Google.org, Woodwell Climate Research Center, the Arctic Data Center, and other partner organizations, we can work together to further the available knowledge on the Arctic.
Written by Angie Garcia
Community Engagement and Outreach Coordinator, Arctic Data Center