Rapid thaw of permafrost could release large GHGs
- Posted By
18th Nov, 2020
The vast swaths of permafrost across the Arctic may thaw much before the current projections, releasing vast amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
- 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.