Recently, stunning drone footage has revealed details of the Batagaika crater which is getting affected due to climate change.
Facts for Prelims
Batagaika Crater: The World’s Biggest Permafrost Crater
- Location: Batagaika Crater is situated in Russia’s Far East and is known to be the largest permafrost crater in the world.
- Formation: Scientists believe the crater resulted from melting permafrost that was frozen during the Quaternary Ice Age approximately 2.58 million years ago. It began to form when the surrounding forest was cleared in the 1960s, leading to the melting of the underground permafrost and causing the land to sink.
- Local Name: Some locals in Russia’s Sakha Republic refer to it as the “gateway to the underworld,” while it is scientifically classified as a mega-slump.
- Climate Impact: The formation of the Batagaika Crater is attributed to various factors, including higher air temperatures, a warming climate, and anthropogenic influence.
- Scientific Importance: The exposed ice and soil along the crater’s edges are believed to hold geological and biological history spanning up to 200,000 years, providing valuable clues to prehistoric life on Earth.
- Environmental Concerns: The soil beneath the crater, reaching depths of about 100 meters (328 feet), contains a significant amount of organic carbon. As the permafrost thaws, this carbon will be released into the atmosphere, exacerbating global warming.
-Source: Indian Express