Jump to content

Instability of the Permafrost in Siberia


joigus
 Share

Recommended Posts

While watching BBC reels on different topics, I noticed that many peculiar phenomena are associated to Siberia that all seem to bear a common relationship. It drew my attention that many of these seem to be related to permafrost thawing.

Siberia's exploding craters:

https://www.bbc.com/reel/video/p097w5p3/the-mystery-of-siberia-s-exploding-craters

Batagaika crater:

https://www.bbc.com/reel/playlist/ultimate-world?vpid=p08lmh55

Thermokarsts in Siberia:

https://www.bbc.com/reel/playlist/ultimate-world?vpid=p08rswth

The Gates of Hell 

https://www.bbc.com/reel/video/p08vxl52/how-the-soviets-accidentally-discovered-the-gates-of-hell-

The Batagaika crater and the Gates of Hell are partly human-made, but the idea that seems to permeate here is that thawing of permafrost is revealing some kind of instability. In some cases it seems purely mechanical, but in others, maybe due to release of chemically-active organic compounds... Could that be the case? Whether these are symptoms of climate change, or totally unrelated problems, I don't know. But I would like to know.

Any similar phenomena in countries with extensive permafrost? I'm thinking Canada.

Maybe the Gates of Hell is the odd one out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Seems to be another potential for positive feedback from recent thaws in Siberia.... 

https://www.pnas.org/content/118/32/e2107632118

 

Quote

Anthropogenic global warming may be accelerated by a positive feedback from the mobilization of methane from thawing Arctic permafrost. There are large uncertainties about the size of carbon stocks and the magnitude of possible methane emissions. Methane cannot only be produced from the microbial decay of organic matter within the thawing permafrost soils (microbial methane) but can also come from natural gas (thermogenic methane) trapped under or within the permafrost layer and released when it thaws. In the Taymyr Peninsula and surroundings in North Siberia, the area of the worldwide largest positive surface temperature anomaly for 2020, atmospheric methane concentrations have increased considerably during and after the 2020 heat wave. Two elongated areas of increased atmospheric methane concentration that appeared during summer coincide with two stripes of Paleozoic carbonates exposed at the southern and northern borders of the Yenisey-Khatanga Basin...

The Washington Post has summarized the findings here.... 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2021/08/02/climate-change-heat-wave-unleashes-methane-from-prehistoric-siberian-rock/

Quote

Scientists have long been worried about what many call “the methane bomb” — the potentially catastrophic release of methane from thawing wetlands in Siberia’s permafrost.

But now a study by three geologists says that a heat wave in 2020 has revealed a surge in methane emissions “potentially in much higher amounts” from a different source: thawing rock formations in the Arctic permafrost.

 

The difference is that thawing wetlands releases “microbial” methane from the decay of soil and organic matter, while thawing limestone — or carbonate rock — releases hydrocarbons and gas hydrates from reservoirs both below and within the permafrost, making it “much more dangerous” than past studies have suggested...

 

This really needs watching because of methane being such a potent GHG compared to others.   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, TheVat said:

Seems to be another potential for positive feedback from recent thaws in Siberia.... 

https://www.pnas.org/content/118/32/e2107632118

 

The Washington Post has summarized the findings here.... 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2021/08/02/climate-change-heat-wave-unleashes-methane-from-prehistoric-siberian-rock/

This really needs watching because of methane being such a potent GHG compared to others.   

Yes. Methane really is the killer. There are vast amounts of it and release seems potentially very fast in geological terms.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.