The European Space Agency (ESA) has released a series of maps that allow you to see the gradual thawing of permafrost around the Arctic pole from 2003 to 2017. This process can lead to the appearance of a huge amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere as it melts, which may exacerbate the effects of climate change.
Permafrost is defined as an inextricable zone, where only large bodies of water are an exception. It is considered isolated if its area is at least 10% of the territory covered, and discontinuous if this area occupies from 50 to 90%.
When this earth freezes, a huge amount of carbon is stored in it – for example, in the form of dead plants. Since 1980, permafrost temperatures have reached their maximum limits and continue to rise. This can lead to the release of this carbon.
Climatologists are worried that if permafrost thaws and a huge amount of carbon dioxide and methane is contained in it, these greenhouse gases will enter the atmosphere, exacerbating global warming.
New maps were compiled by combining satellite data on terrain features, such as surface temperature and land cover, with measurements taken in permafrost areas.
Scientists believe that the new project, which they are developing, will help to find out how the temperature of the surface of the soil and the ice cover is changing to better understand the future permafrost.