More 'Gates to the Underworld'? Prospects and Dangers of Permafrost Thaw Revealed by Media

One scholar reportedly suggested that a certain process in permafrost could “create brand new landscapes, forming or draining lakes, eroding river courses, coastal edges, and emitting very large amounts of greenhouse gases.”

The current climate situation in Siberia has apparently led to some potentially alarming developments at a “3,000 feet long and 300 feet deep” megaslump known as the Batagay crater, Newsweek reports.

According to the media outlet, the crater, which emerged in Siberia in the 20th century and has been “expanding rapidly and substantially” since the 1990s, has witnessed an increase in its expansion rate since 2016, growing at a speed of about 12 to 14 meters per year.

Dubbed reportedly as the “gateway to the underworld” by locals, the megaslump apparently emerged due to the ice within the permafrost melting.

And while the media outlet now warns, citing experts, that “this process could lead to the emergence of other thermokarst craters like Batagay”, Marc Macias-Fauria, Associate Professor in Physical Geography at the University of Oxford, told them that excess heat might also trigger “another, more worrying process”.

Julian Murton, Professor of Permafrost Science at the University of Sussex, also warned that the processes observed at Batagay might mean that “other thermokarst landforms may develop and grow over the coming decades, particularly if the landscape is disturbed by factors such as vegetation clearance or forest fire.”


More ‘Gates to the Underworld’? Prospects and Dangers of Permafrost Thaw Revealed by Media

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