World's largest permafrost crater 'Batagaika' is expanding rapidly due to global warming in Russia
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Batagaika, the world's largest permafrost crater, is located in the Far East Siberian taiga and is expanding rapidly due to global warming in Russia.
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This massive crater, also known as the "Gateway to the Underworld", initially appeared in the 1960s when the area was cleared for timber.
The crater is about one kilometre long and is classified as a 'mega-slump', indicating significant geological changes on Earth.
One of the primary factors contributing to the formation of permafrost craters is the thawing of permafrost, which is being caused by deforestation, land use change, and rising temperatures.
Russia's warming rate is at least 2.5 times faster than the global average, melting its long-frozen tundra and contributing to the expansion of the 'Batagaika' crater at a rate of about 10 metres per year.
Permafrost refers to land that is frozen at or below 0°C for at least two consecutive years.
It is mainly found in areas with high terrain and close to the Earth's poles, that is, the North and South Poles. Permafrost is made up of a mixture of soil, rock, and sand that is bound together by ice.
In particular, permafrost holds substantial amounts of organic carbon within its frozen layers.
When permafrost melts and the soil thaws, it releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, potentially increasing global warming.
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