Current Affairs
Daily Bits

Rapid thaw of permafrost could release large GHGs

  • Posted By
    10Pointer
  • Categories
    Environment
  • Published
    18th Nov, 2020

Context

The vast swaths of permafrost across the Arctic may thaw much before the current projections, releasing vast amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Key Highlights

  • The arctic and sub-arctic regions are heating up two times faster than the rest of the planet.
  • It will release perilous amount of methane and carbon dioxide thus far trapped under the ice.
  • This process is also known as abrupt thaw.
  • These regions under permafrost are inhabited by indigenous communities and have industrial infrastructure across the subarctic region, especially in Russia which could be adversely affected.

What is Permafrost?

  • Permafrost regions experience temperatures below freezing point.
  • They contain strata of soil and rocks over pockets of ice.
  • It contains organic matter that has never decomposed because of low temperatures.
  • When they thaw they become a reservoir of greenhouse gasses, including CO2 and methane.

What are Green House Gases?

  • Gases that trap heat in the atmosphere are called greenhouse gases.