- In the past 10–20 years European permafrost has shown a general warming trend, with greatest warming in the cold permafrost in Svalbard and Scandinavia. The depth of seasonal thaw has increased at several European permafrost sites. Some sites show great interannual variability, which reflects the complex interaction between the atmospheric conditions and local snow and ground characteristics.
- Recent projections agree on substantial near-surface permafrost degradation resulting in thaw depth deepening (i.e. permafrost degeneration) over much of the permafrost area.
Warming and thawing of permafrost is expected to increase the risk of rock falls, debris flows and ground subsidence. Thawing of permafrost also affects biodiversity and can contribute to climate change through release of CO2 and CH4 from Arctic permafrost areas.