June 16, 2024

Video: Permafrost thaw: A silent menace
Credit: European Space Agency

Ice is without doubt one of the first casualties of climate change, but the effects of our warming world are not only limited to ice melting on Earth’s surface. Ground that has been frozen for thousands of years, called permafrost, is thawing—adding to the climate crisis and causing serious issues for local communities.

Scientists estimate that the world’s permafrost holds almost double the amount of carbon that is currently in the atmosphere. When permafrost warms and thaws, it releases methane and carbon dioxide, adding these to the atmosphere and making global warming even worse.

While permafrost cannot be directly observed from space, a lot of different types of satellite data, along with and modeling, allow scientists to paint a picture of permafrost ground conditions.

Credit: European Space Agency

Video: Permafrost thaw: A silent menace (2023, December 12)
retrieved 12 December 2023
from https://phys.org/news/2023-12-video-permafrost-silent-menace.html

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