With each degree of warming, almost 4 million square kilometers of permafrost are lost

Permafrost

This is stated by an international team made up of six researchers from Norway, the United Kingdom and Sweden, who have published a study in the scientific journal 'Nature Climate Change'. In order for us to get an idea of ​​the amount of permafrost that will be lost with each degree of warming, we need to know that is an area larger than India.

Permafrost, that layer of soil that remains frozen for at least two years, which covers almost 15 million square kilometers of the planet's surface, is getting weaker as a consequence of global warming.

Large amounts of carbon are stored in permafrost, which is a serious problem today. As the planet warms, this ice sheet thaws, causing the organic matter that is trapped in it to begin to decompose. In doing so, greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane are released, two of the main gases that cause the increase in temperatures.

To reach that conclusion, The researchers examined how this ice sheet changes across the landscape and its relationship to temperature. They then investigated what could happen if temperatures increased and, using this data, created a permafrost distribution map. They were thus able to calculate the amount of permafrost that would be lost if the global temperature could be prevented from rising by more than 2 degrees.

Thaw

Thanks to this study Scientists were able to find out that permafrost is more susceptible to global warming than previously thought: stabilizing the climate at 2ºC above pre-industrial levels would mean a thawing of more than 40% of the current areas it covers. If this were to happen, the around 35 million people living in these regions would have to take further adaptation measures, as roads and buildings could collapse.


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