Evidence indicates that the Jamal sink hole (Siberia) has been caused by permafrost thaw, still under investigation. New footage (July, 18 2014) shows the crater in more detail, and Dan Miller explains the interconnections of climate change and permafrost.
Anna Kurchatova: Siberia’s frozen soil — known as permafrost — contains millions of tons of methane gas. As the surface slowly warms, this gas begins to be released — and pools into highly volatile pockets. A mixture of water, salt and gas may have ignited an underground explosion.
Permafrost thaw exacerbates climate change
Science Daily: Growing season gains do not offset carbon emissions from permafrost thaw, new research shows. Permafrost contains three to seven times the amount of carbon sequestered in tropical forests. The warming climate threatens to thaw permafrost, which will result in the release of carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere creating feedbacks to climate change — more warming and greater permafrost thaw.
More about the Siberian crater
Photos: Methane explosion investigated as cause for mysterious Siberian sink hole
Video: Researchers examine the sink hole (July 16, 2014)
Black Craters in the Siberian Tundra, Methane Lacing 2,500 Mile Wide Smoke Plumes Over Gigantic Arctic Wildfires