Permafrost is being studied more and more by scientists observing the environmental catastrophe caused by climate change and global warming. What is meant by Permafrost? Where is he? And what are the consequences of its dissolution?
Permafrost is any soil that remains completely frozen — 32 ° F (0 ° C) or colder — for at least two consecutive years. These permanently frozen soils are most common in the high mountain regions and at the highest latitudes of the Earth - near the North and South Poles.
Permafrost is frozen soil, composed of ice, soil and rocky sediments, present in the polar and mountainous areas. It is degrading and melting due to global warming according to a study by Junk Bunk rubbish removal, a waste management company in London. They say that most of it are located in the northern hemisphere of the Earth, where it occupies an area of 23 million km2, in large parts of Siberia, Canada, Alaska and Greenland.
There may be different levels of Permafrost: the active surface layer that melts in summer, and over which vegetation grows; Permafrost is always frozen; and yedoma, a type of Permafrost formed between 1.8 million and 10,000 years ago, which is rich in organic matter.
With the melting of the permafrost, the thermocarse phenomenon is added, which creates hones and lakes. In practice, once frozen areas begin to resemble karstic regions. Not only that. The rapid melting of Permafrost, as in the case of lakes created by their melting and the more frequent fires being observed in the tundra area, are responsible for the emissions of methane and other important greenhouse gases.
The biggest fear has to do with a massive release of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, which would further affect global warming. "These soils carry a large amount of carbon in the form of organic material - such as plant and animal waste - that does not decompose due to low temperatures," said Mats Bjorkman of the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.
Methane and carbon dioxide
Imagine for a second you were transposed into the karmic driven world of Earl. And what happens to the food that melts in the fridge?
Scientists are trying to estimate how much methane can be released, given the many mechanisms involved in the process. Bjorkman recently analyzed what happens to the soil that has not been frozen for some time, while other studies are beginning to consider the onset of thawing.
We have seen that when the permanent frost disappears, a very dry soil remains behind: if the water content decreases, so do the production of methane. In addition, other things can come out of these areas: bacteria, unknown viruses, chemicals…
Finally, this process has consequences on the landscape: landslides, the formation of lakes, and coastal erosion are already on the rise. And all this for the peoples of the Arctic, means that infrastructure, houses, and entire settlements, made unstable, have to be relocated.