When you think of global warming what comes to mind? Most people think of shrinking icecaps, likely with stranded polar bears on top of them. Still others may remember Al Gore’s controversial documentary “An Inconvenient Truth”. The reality is that while climate change may continue to be a contentious issue in the halls of Congress, the scientific community at large has come to accept it as objective fact. Now we may be seeing the next stage in climate change disasters.
Over the last few years Siberia has experienced a weird and terrifying phenomena. Something is causing huge craters to open up in the ground, seemingly without warning. These craters are massive with some measuring over 30 meters in diameter and 60 meters deep.
What could be causing these sudden openings in the earth? Leading scientists have come to believe this is yet another unforeseen effect of climate change. Siberia has experienced an unprecedented 9 degree temperature increase in the last few year that seems to be melting the permafrost layer.
Under the permafrost layer is a great deal of pressurized methane gas. It’s believed that through some process (that’s still being debated in the scientific community) this gas is being released by the melting permafrost with explosive results.
Should this be the case there’s a concern that we’ll soon be seeing these massive holes in Alaska next. Really, the entire artic region is at risk.
Many of these craters are slowing becoming lakes. In a few years it will be hard to identify what caused these holes in the first place.
There’s also a fear that the release of so much methane will only make the problem worse. Methane is a greenhouse gas and plays a significant role in climate change already, just imagine what effect radically increasing atmospheric concentrations will have.
Although some of the first holes discovered where fairly massive, subsequent craters have emerged that are much smaller and more numerous.
Who knows what will happen next if the world keeps getting warmer?
For a closer look at these bizarre craters check out the video below.