Permafrost Distribution
16" x 16" x 1" (41 x 41 x 3 cm)

Embroidery on silk shows the location of arctic permafrost and describes some of its characteristics.


Many Arctic communities and infrastructure sit on top of a thick layer of permafrost that has stabilized the ground for millennia. As global air temperatures rise, this frozen soil is melting, causing homes and roadways to crumble. Permafrost is defined as ground that is frozen year-round for a minimum of 2 years. It is made up of rock, soil, sediments and varying amounts of ice that bind the elements together. Permafrost covers about 24% of Earth’s exposed landmass in the northern hemisphere. This embroidery on silk shows a bird’s eye view of arctic permafrost and describes some of its characteristics. Darker shades of red indicate larger percentages of permanently frozen ground. Permafrost thawing also releases carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere, causing even greater atmospheric warming.