NewEnergyNews: Watching The World’s Permafrost Melt

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    Friday, March 19, 2021

    Watching The World’s Permafrost Melt

    Climate Change and Geopolitics: Monitoring of a Thawing Permafrost

    Ekaterina Uryupova, March 16, 2021 (The Arctic Institute)

    “Permafrost thaw is one of the world’s most pressing climate problems, already disrupting lifestyles, livelihoods, economies, and ecosystems in the north, and threatening to spill beyond the boundaries of the Arctic as our planet continues to warm. To examine the effects of permafrost degradation, and increase our understanding of what this phenomenon means for the future of the region (and the world), [The Arctic Institute permafrost series analyzes] the topic from scientific, security, legal, and personal perspectives…The recent massive oil spill from storage tanks on Yamal Peninsula in Russia and landslides across the Arctic have become another ‘signal’ that climate change is happening now…

    …1) Increasing temperatures and rising sea levels are observable effects of the unpredictable and rapidly changing environment. One of the most poignant climate issues concerns the state of permafrost, a hidden layer of ice below the Earth’s surface. Its rapid degradation has enormous implications for climate change.2) Researchers from different countries have been studying permafrost for decades…[but] the scientific community still has a long way to go to obtain an effective international monitoring system…[One of the most disturbing unknowns is] the dynamics of the permafrost parameters…[But it is clear that as] the Arctic warms, the permafrost is thawing, and greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide and methane, are being released to the atmosphere…

    …[S]ome communities will be more affected than others…Indigenous peoples and coastal settlements face the brunt of the climate crisis…[but the global data is] still sporadic, records are rarely updated, and very little information about the subsea permafrost is publicly available…[T]here are national databases about the long-term dynamics of permafrost parameters in the United States, Russia, Switzerland (the Alps), Canada, and others…[but] it appears that none of them wish to share data on future offshore oil and gas exploration sites, military installations and other structures…[A]n effective global permafrost monitoring system is needed. Addressing the impacts of Arctic thawing will require political will and more global scientific collaboration and strategic partnership…” click here for more

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