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Legendary crater in Siberia growing due to global warming

  1. Climate

The giant Batagaika Crater, located in the Sakha Republic in the Russian Far East, has become one of the most noticeable climate change tell-tale signs on Earth. It is the biggest permafrost crater, and it appeared due to defrosting and thawing permafrost. Moreover, the crater is continuing to grow every year.

View of the crater from space. © NASA

According to various estimates, the crater is expanding at a rate of 10 to 30 meters per year. Surrounded by dense forests, the crater is literally a scar on the planet. Locals call it the “Gateway to the Underworld.”

It is about 100 meters deep and around one kilometer long. It was first reported in the 1960s when deforestation in the area broke the permafrost, causing the ground to collapse.

The Batagaika Crater is not the only example of unusual geological activity in Russia. A sinkhole appeared in the tundra in northwestern Siberia as a result of a methane explosion.

© Cryovolcanism on the Earth: Origin of a Spectacular Crater in the Yamal Peninsula (Russia) // . — 2018. — September 10. — ISSN 2045-2322. — doi:10.1038/s41598-018-31858-9

Sinkholes and craters can pose a threat to people and infrastructure if they occur in populated areas.

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