Scientists Explain Rapid Arctic Permafrost Melting Warm Winter

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Scientists at Tomsk State University (TSU) found that, due to abnormally warm winters and springs, the processes of permafrost melting in the Arctic and Subarctic were one third more active than usual. Frequent repetition of this phenomenon can lead to a progressive greening of the region, which in turn will cause an adjustment of the construction documentation for more unstable soil. This was announced on Friday, October 9, in an interview with TASS by a senior researcher at the Biogeoclim laboratory, Sergei Loiko.

Soil studies took place at the end of August 2020 in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug.

According to Loiko, permafrost thawing consists of three components: an increase in the permafrost temperature, the depth of soil thawing in summer and the boundaries of the permafrost.

“We took soil samples on layers up to two meters, water and plant samples. The research results showed that the melting of permafrost was 30% more powerful than usual, and it is good that it was a cold summer, if it were a hot summer, it would have been 50%, ”he said.

Scientists noticed that because of the warm winter, the soil froze worse, and therefore was saturated with water. In addition, the amount of water in the soil was affected by heavy rainfall and thunderstorms in August, not very typical for the region.

Repetition of such anomalies in the future, according to the Tomsk researchers, may cause a change in the properties of the land in the Arctic and it will be necessary to adjust the construction documentation for more unstable soil. It will also lead to the emergence of new animals and plants uncharacteristic for the region. Loiko believes that if there is no repetition of such climatic phenomena, then “permafrost will recover within several years,” but this will take time and will have an impact on the Arctic ecosystem.

The area of ​​ice in the Arctic Ocean is decreasing every year. As the head of Roshydromet Igor Shumakov noted in mid-July, this indicator has decreased by 50% since the 1980s.

It is noted that the reason for the melting of ice and the termination of their long-term formation is the increase in the average annual temperature in the Arctic, which is four times faster than the average on the planet.

On June 26, The New York Times reported on the consequences of melting Arctic glaciers for Russia. According to experts, the disappearance of permafrost will lead to the emission of about 240 billion tons of carbon dioxide and the greenhouse effect.

Last year, scientists predicted climate chaos on Earth. By 2100, they estimate that melting ice will cause extreme weather and temperature fluctuations around the world.

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