Welcome to the ISOPERM — a new, multidisciplinary, collaborative research project investigating the stability of permafrost in Siberia throughout the last ca. 2 million years.

Siberian permafrost is a major carbon store, containing double the amount of carbon found in today’s atmosphere. Anthropogenic global warming threatens the stability of this ancient permafrost, with the potential to release vast amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, further exacerbating climate change.

This project aims at the reconstruction of past continental temperatures, seasonal characteristics, and historical permafrost extent, thus establishing critical thresholds for Siberian permafrost formation and thaw that can inform predictions of permafrost dynamics in the near future.

Image: Seb Breitenbach
Image: Thomas Opel


ISOPERM is a collaboration between the Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences at Northumbria University, United Kingdom, and the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research in Potsdam, Germany. We work closely with colleagues at The Technical University of Irkutsk and the Arabika Speleoclub in Russia, the LARA Lab at the University of Bern, the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf in Germany, the University of Oxford in the UK, and the Israelian Geological Survey.

This project is funded by The Leverhulme Trust.

News and events

Seb Breitenbach predicts the future

Our very own Seb Breitenbach, ISOPERM’s PI, was interviewed by EU Horizons Magazine to give his predictions on the changes we’ll see in palaeoclimate and anthropology research in 2022.

Click below to find out what 2022 has in store.

Visit to Oxford

Last week we had the chance to visit Andrew Mason and assess the speleothem sample collection curated at Oxford University. We managed to bring a fair few back to Northumbria University and also had time for a guided tour of Oxford’s laboratory facilities. 

Welcome Jade Robinson

We’re delighted to welcome ISOPERM’s first PhD student, Jade Robinson, who joins us this week from University College London.

Once she’s had a chance to find her feet, she’ll be getting to grips with our samples from Botovskaya Cave.

Analytical facilities

Get in touch…


Coming soon…