What is Hiding Within Permafrost?

Arctic (26)

Permafrost, defined as ground soil that has been at a freezing point of 0 degrees Celsius or below for at least two years in a row, has been covering at least 24% (per cent) of the whole Arctic region for thousands, or even tens of thousands, of years. According to e.g. the University of Copenhagen – Center for Permafrost, permafrost can go as deep as 700 meters where at its thickest, for example in parts of Russia and in Greenland. The Center for Permafrost at the University of Copenhagen reports that one of the risks of thawing permafrost is soil collapse as frozen ice melts into water.

Other risks of thawing permafrost, which is now taking place all over the Arctic, include the release of bacteria and toxic greenhouse gases; especially methane. Bacteria possibly  spreading diseases could be released by decayed animals and plants that have, for thousands of years, been kept frozen under the thick layers of permafrost.

According to NSIDC scientist Kevin Schaefer, studying permafrost carbon is important to understand how thawing permafrost and the frozen organic matter within the permafrost react to the atmosphere if and when coming into contact with it. This because the frozen organic matter, if and when thawing, releases carbon dioxide and methane into Earth´s atmosphere. Until now, as reported in Geophysical Research Letters Vol. 43, 28 June 2016, there has been no significant increase in long-term methane emissions in Alaska despite of warming air temperatures.

Learn more about thawing permafrost in Alaska through American Geophysical Union AGU´s “FM15 Press Conference Alaska´s thawing permafrost Latest results and future projections”:


Connect with me on Twitter @annemariayritys. For climate/environment-related posts only @GCCThinkActTank. Subscribe to Leading With Passion to receive my latest posts.


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Anne-Maria Yritys

Anne-Maria Yritys is an authentic, passionate, inspired and multilingual business development manager, creative director, consultant and strategic change leader at Y.E.S. Yritys Executive Services. She is an active (online) networker and social media strategist with one of the Nordic´s largest personal LinkedIn networks. With a vast global following on Twitter, she is also Finland´s most followed business person on Twitter, and one of the country´s most active Tweeters @annemariayritys With her vast international experiences and love for sustainable development, she is a Global Citizen who values ethical leadership and responsible decision-making. She believes in advanced communication, empowerment, continuous development and higher learning leading to sustainable economic development and a sustainable future in individuals, organizations and nations across our Globe. Her mission and vision include accelerating positive change through effective change communication and leadership. She helps businesses and organizations through client/customer-oriented demands with tailored strategy consultations. She can also be booked for public speaking events. To find out more about Anne-Maria and to see how she may be of service to your business needs, please get in touch. Twitter: @annemariayritys @GCCThinkActTank @LeadingWPassion @AroundOMedia

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