Permafrost in Canadian Arctic thawing 70 years earlier than predicted: report

Permafrost in Canadian Arctic thawing 70 years earlier than predicted: report
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A recent expedition reportedly led scientist to discover permafrost in the Canadian Arctic is thawing 70 years earlier than predicted. 

The team from University of Alaska Fairbanks said the landscape was unrecognizable from the Arctic terrain they visited about a decade earlier, according to Reuters.

“What we saw was amazing,” Vladimir E. Romanovsky, a geophysics professor at the university, told Reuters. “It’s an indication that the climate is now warmer than at any time in the last 5,000 or more years.”


The researchers' findings were published June 10 in Geophysical Research letter. The report further indicates the escalating global climate crisis, according to Reuters.

Using a modified propeller, the researchers were able to visit remote sites including an abandoned Cold Wa-era base, according to Reuters. 

Researchers found widespread thermokarst, which is produced by the selective melting of permafrost, on the once icy terrain, according to the article abstract available online

Romanovsky told Reuters the scene reminded him of a bombardment. 

Study co-author Louise Farquharson told Reuters "it's very likely this phenomenon is affecting a much more extensive region and that’s what we’re going to look at next.”

Thawing permafrost is a "tipping point for climate breakdown," Greenpeace International executive director Jennifer Morgan told Reuters. She said the thawing a "clear signal that we must decarbonize our economies, and immediately.”

Reuters notes that models used by the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have warned that even if countries cut carbon emissions by 2015 under the Paris climate agreement it may not be enough to combat warming. 

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