Arctic Avenue

Arctic Avenue to boost strategic cooperation between Stockholm and Helsinki

Arctic Avenue is a spearhead research project between the University of Helsinki and Stockholm University. To boost already existing excellent cooperation, the two universities decided to join forces trough Arctic Avenue during 2019–2022 (with extension to use funds into 2023 due to delays caused by the pandemic).

Arctic Avenue is led by Associate Professor Nina Kirchner at Stockholm University and Professor Atte Korhola at the University of Helsinki. The project is funded with a total of €600.000, split evenly between the two universities.

By joining forces, we are able to create an attractive hub for Arctic research with cutting-edge research that connects different disciplines and units at both universities. Both universities have excellent research infrastructure, including Arctic research stations.

Arctic Avenue supports our expertise to reach the absolute top international level. Trough Arctic Avenue we get a more comprehensive understanding of the factors and processes that are involved in a changing Arctic. This enables us to draft forecasts for the future as well. Our collaboration also recognizes that each partner contributes with different strengths and expertise. Combining them in a complementary way is central to achieving a better understanding of the changing Arctic. It also creates a thriving scientific environment in which young researchers can grow and be supported by Arctic Avenue.

Follow this website and the hashtag #ArcticAvenue to stay update on Arctic Avenue.



Atte Korhola,, University of Helsinki
Nina Kirchner,, Stockholm University

Steering Committee

Reetta Toivanen,, Chair of Steering Committee, University of Helsinki
Gustaf Hugelius,, co-chair of Steering Committee, Stockholm University
Jussi Eronen,, University of Helsinki
Hanna Lappalainen,, University of Helsinki
Kerstin Lidén,, Stockholm University
Sanna Piilo,,  University of Helsinki
Britta Sannel,, Stockholm University
Frederik Schenk,, Stockholm University
Project managers     
Annika Granebeck,, Stockholm University
Kaarina Weckström,, University of Helsinki


Arctic Avenue Focus Areas

  1. Long-term carbon dynamics in arctic-alpine permafrost regions
  2. Biomass and Leaf area index mapping in different pan-Arctic landscapes
  3. Climate impacts on peatlands and lakes
  4. Arctic Terrestrial Ecosystems and Biodiversity
  5. Arctic climate, aerosols (incl. black carbon) and clouds
  6. Past climatic variability, instability and rapid climate shifts
  7. Arctic sea-ice, glaciers and climate change

The Arctic Avenue offers its members to put in smaller applications for funding throughout the year. These cannot exceed 1000€ per project, and will be up to the co-leaders discretion to decide on.

You are welcome to send an application to Atte Korhola, and Nina Kirchner,


If you want information of what’s going on, you are welcome to subscribe to our main Arctic Avenue e-mailing list.

Please send an e-mail to and we will take care of it for you.

Send us:
• Full name
• E-mail address. Please allow a few working days for this

You are welcome to use the e-mail list to send information you think would be of interest to the Arctic Avenue. The list has the address

Photo: Annika Granebeck
Tarfala lake. Photo: Annika Granebeck



Arctic Avenue Projects

Innovative pilot projects involving joint field campaigns is the main form of Arctic Avenue collaboration. Such projects are an ideal platform to foster further collaboration and inspire larger joint research projects. In response to the seven biannual Arctic Avenue calls, 33 scientifically excellent joint research projects have been granted. Here we present projects that overarch the current duration (2019–2022) of Arctic Avenue, providing vital longer-term observations and data on Arctic cryosphere changes.
Permafrost peatlands under climate warming pressure

This project relates to the spearhead nature and aims of Arctic Avenue by providing a more comprehensive understanding of factors and processes that are involved in a changing Arctic. Knowing about the current status of permafrost peatlands helps us better understand and project future potential carbon losses from these ecosystems.

A. Britta K. Sannel1,2, Minna Väliranta3,4,5, Atte Korhola3,4,5, and Teemu Juselius5

1 Department of Physical Geography, Stockholm University
2 Bolin Centre for Climate Research, Stockholm University
3 Ecosystems and Environment Research Programme, University of Helsinki
4 Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS), University of Helsinki
5 Environmental Change Research Unit (ECRU), University of Helsinki

Map of study sites.


Peatlands cover vast areas in the permafrost region and store large amounts of soil organic carbon. In a future warmer climate, permafrost thaw will lead to a positive climate feedback due to increased emissions of greenhouse gases when more organic matter becomes available for decay. To better understand and project future potential carbon losses from these eco-systems we need to know the current status of the permafrost. From a recent study on global trends in permafrost temperatures (Biskaborn et al., 2019) it is obvious that data is lacking especially from the northern Fennoscandian lowland region. In this project, that started up in 2019, we aim to fill some of these data gaps by monitoring ground temperatures in permafrost peatlands along a transect through northern Sweden, Finland and Norway. Since September 2021 snow depth is also monitored at our five study sites, since snow depth has been suggested to be the most important meteorological parameter impacting ground temperatures in permafrost peatlands (Sannel et al., 2016)


The overall aim of this project is to increase our knowledge of ground thermal conditions in Fennoscandian permafrost peatlands along a climatic and topographic gradient, in order to better project how these environments will be affected by future climate change.

Societal impacts

The Finnish TV Broadcasting Company (YLE) joined the project team during fieldwork both in 2020 and 2021, and a 1 hr documentary was launched on YLE Arena in May 2022 ( In northern Finland the local (Sami) community in Kevo has been informed about the project through the Kevo Research Station Instagram account, and in northern Sweden the Sami community in Idivuoma has been informed through personal communication.

First results

The first years of measurements show that the permafrost temperatures in the studied peatlands are warm, just below 0 °C, suggesting that the permafrost has already started to thaw. Signs of permafrost thaw, ground collapse and thermal erosion can also be seen in the landscape at all study sites.

Photo: Britta Sannel
Fieldwork in Šuoššjávri. Photo: Britta Sannel
Photo: Britta Sannel
Fieldwork in Lakselv. Photo: Britta Sannel


  • Biskaborn, B.K., Smith, S.L., Noetzli, J., Matthes, H., Vieira, G., Streletskiy, D., Schoeneich, P., Romanovsky, V.E., Lewkowicz, A.G., Abramov, A., Allard, M., Boike, J., Cable, W.L., Christiansen, H.H., Delaloye, R., Diekmann, B., Drozdov, D., Etzelmüller, B., Grosse, G., Guglielmin, M., Ingeman-Nielsen, T., Isaksen, K., Ishikawa, M., Johansson, M., Johannsson, H., Joo, A., Kaverin, D., Kholodov, A., Konstantinov, P., Kröger, T., Lambiel, C., Lanckman, J.-P., Luo, D., Malkova, G., Meiklejohn, I., Moskalenko, N., Oliva, M., Phillips, M., Ramos, M., Sannel, A.B.K., Sergeev, D., Seybold, C., Skryabin, P., Vasiliev, A., Wu, Q., Yoshikawa, K., Zheleznyak, M., Lantuit, H. 2019. Permafrost is warming at a global scale. Nature Communications 10(1), 264, doi:10.1038/s41467-018-08240-4.
  • Sannel, A.B.K., Hugelius, G., Jansson, P., Kuhry, P., 2016. Permafrost warming in a subarctic peatland – which meteorological controls are most important? Permafrost and Periglacial Processes 27, 177–188, doi:10.1002/ppp.1862.

Permafrost peatlands under climate warming pressure (160 Kb)


Field work

Welcome to use the Arctic Avenue field calendar! Here we share our field plans and perhaps we find joint plans, new collaborations etc. Please e-mail the following information and we will announce it for you:

  • When and where you are going
  • Main reason for going
  • Contact person

Field work Sálajiegna, Sweden 14–23 August 2020

To do: Glacier work; drone flying, hydrophones, time laps cameras and more.
Team: Nina Kirchner, Annika Granebeck, Eva Gylfe, Martin Schulthess, Åsa Stjerna.

Field work Arctic Avenue permafrost peatland expedition 16–26 August 2020 in Lakselv (Norway), Kilpisjärvi, Karasjok (Norway), Kevo and Karlebotn (Norway)

To do: new thermistor installation in Kilpisjärvi, collecting thermistor data for the already installed instruments, collecting permafrost peat samples for VOC analyses.
Team: Minna Väliranta Väliranta, Teemu Juselius, Sanna Piilo, Atte Korhola and two master students.

Field work Arctic Avenue permafrost peatland field work 24–29 August 2020 in Tavvavuoma (Sweden)

To do: new thermistor installation (and downloading data from instruments that are already up and running and not directly a part of AA activity).
Team: Britta Sannel + field assistant.

Field work Sálajiegna 22–30 August 2019

Nina, Annika, Elias and Sebastian.
Contact: Nina Kirchner

Field work Finnmark and Kevo 2–8 September 2019

Britta, Minna, Teemu, Marit, Sanna.
Contact: Britta Sannel,



Publications directly funded by AA

Schenk, F., Bennike, O., Väliranta, M., Avery, R., Björck, S., Wohlfarth, B., 2020. Floral evidence for high summer temperatures in southern Scandinavia during 15–11 cal ka BP. Quaternary Science Reviews: 233, 106243.

Li, H., Väliranta, M., Mäki, M., Kohl, L., Sannel, A.B.K., Pumpanen, J., Koskinen, M., Bäck, J., Bianchi, F, 2020. Overlooked organic vapor emissions from thawing Arctic permafrost. Environmental Research Letters: 15, 104097.,

Datasets produced within the Arctic Avenue

Nina Kirchner, Annika Granebeck, Marnie Hancke (2021). Time lapse imagery of the ice-off event at Lake Tarfala, Kebnekaise Mountains, northern Sweden, summer 2020. Dataset version 1.0. Bolin Centre Database.

Schenk, F., Bennike, O., Väliranta, M., Avery, R., Björck, S., Wohlfarth, B., 2020. Compilation of Local Vegetation and July Temperature Reconstructions for Southern Scandinavia 15,000 to 11,000 Years Ago. Bolin Centre Database.

Schenk, F., Väliranta, M., 2020. Definition of Climate Indicator Plant Species and Their Common Minimum July Temperature Limits. Bolin Centre Database.

Other collaboration publications

Kirchner, N., Kuttenkeuler, J., Rosqvist, G., Hancke, M., Granebeck, A., Weckström, J., Weckström, K., Schenk, F., Korhola, A., Eriksson, P. (2021) A first continuous three-year temperature record from the dimictic arctic–alpine Lake Tarfala, northern Sweden, Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research, 53:1, 69–79, DOI:10.1080/15230430.2021.1886577

Limoges, A., Weckström, K., Ribeiro, S., Georgiadis, E.,Hansen, K.E., Martinez, P., Seidenkrantz, M.-S., Giraudeau, J., Crosta, X., Massé, G. (2020) Learning from the past: Impact of the Arctic Oscillation on sea ice and marine productivity off northwest Greenland over the last 9,000 years. Global Change Biology 26: 6767–6786.  

Weckström, K., Redmund Roche, B., Miettinen, A., Krawczyk, D., Limoges, A., Juggins, S., Ribeiro, S., Heikkilä, M., (2020) Improving the paleoceanographic proxy tool kit – On the biogeography and ecology of the sea ice-associated species Fragilariopsis oceanica, Fragilariopsisreginae-jahniae and Fossula arctica in the northern North Atlantic. Marine Micropaleontology 157 101860.

Luostarinen, T., Ribeiro, S., Weckström, K., Sejr, M., Meire, L., Tallberg, P., Heikkilä, M. (2020) An annual cycle of diatom succession in two contrasting Greenlandic fjords: from simple sea-ice indicators to varied seasonal strategists. Marine Micropaleontology 158, 101873.

Oksman, M., Juggins, S., Miettinen, A., Witkowski, A., Weckström, K. (2019) The biogeography and ecology of common diatom species in the northern North Atlantic, and their implications for paleoceanographic reconstructions. Marine Micropaleontology 148: 1–28.

On this page