“Similar signs are evident in coastal Arctic areas, where thawing permafrost and bigger waves are taking 60- to 70-foot bites of land each year,” Berwyn wrote.

“Scientists estimate that the world’s permafrost holds twice as much carbon as the atmosphere,” Berwyn noted. Indeed, the swift decline of permafrost is poised to rapidly accelerate global warming, as Common Dreams has reported.

Berwyn reported: “Similar large-scale landscape changes are evident across the Arctic including in Alaska, Siberia and Scandinavia, the researchers wrote[…] The study didn’t address the issue of greenhouse gas releases from thawing permafrost. But its findings could help quantify the immense global scale of the thawing, which will contribute to more accurate estimates of carbon emissions.”

Accelerating the climate crisis isn’t the only frightening effect of disappearing permafrost: last year, researchers also discovered that melting permafrost could release deadly pathogens frozen in the ice, potentially re-introducing ancient viruses to human populations without the immunity to fight them.

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