Date of Award

3-23-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering Management

Department

Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Kevin S. Bartlett, PhD.

Abstract

The Department of Defense is planning over $552M in military construction on Eielson Air Force Base within the next three fiscal years. Although many studies have been conducted on permafrost and climate change, the future of our climate as well as any impacts on permafrost soils, remains unclear. This research focused on future climate predictions to determine likely scenarios for the United States Air Force’s Strategic Planners to consider. The most recent 2013 International Panel on Climate Change report predicts a 2.2ºC to 7.8ºC temperature rise in Arctic regions by the end of the 21st Century in the Representative Concentration Pathways, (RCP4.5) emissions scenario. This study provides an explanation as to the impacts of this temperature rise on permafrost soils and Arctic infrastructure. This study developed regression models to analyze historical data related to degree-days, temperature, and seasonal lengths. Initial analysis using regression/forecast techniques show a 1.17ºC temperature increase in the Arctic by the end of the 21stCentury. Additionally, UAF’s GIPL 2.1 model was used to calculate active layer thicknesses and permafrost thickness changes from 1947 to 2100. Results show that the active layer is thinning with some permafrost degradation. This research focused on Central Alaska while further research is recommended on the Alaskan North Slope and Greenland to determine additional impacts on Department of Defense infrastructure.

AFIT Designator

AFIT-ENV-MS-17-M-189

DTIC Accession Number

Pending

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