Post by brillbilly on Sept 5, 2020 7:20:27 GMT 10
Sept 5, 2020 7:03:14 GMT 10 @evildweeb said:Massive mystery holes appear in Siberian tundra — and could be linked to climate change
By Katie Hunt, CNN
Fri September 4, 2020
In August 2020, the RAS Institute of Oil and Gas Problems, supported by the local Yamal authorities, conducted a major expedition to the new crater. Skoltech researchers were part of the final stages of that expedition. Credit: Evgeny Chuvilin
(CNN)A Russian TV crew flying over the Siberian tundra this summer spotted a massive crater 30 meters (100 feet) deep and 20 meters wide -- striking in its size, symmetry and the explosive force of nature that it must have taken to have created it.
Scientists are not sure exactly how the huge hole, which is at least the ninth spotted in the region since 2013, formed. Initial theories floated when the first crater was discovered near an oil and gas field in the Yamal Peninsula in northwest Siberia included a meteorite impact, a UFO landing and the collapse of a secret underground military storage facility.
While scientists now believe the giant hole is linked to an explosive buildup of methane gas -- which could be an unsettling result of warming temperatures in the region -- there is still a lot the researchers don't know.
An aerial view of the newest crater that appeared this year. It's one of the largest that has appeared so far. In August 2020, the RAS Institute of Oil and Gas Problems, supported by the local Yamal authorities, conducted a major expedition to the new crater. Skoltech researchers were part of the final stages of that expedition. Credit: Evgeny Chuvilin
"Right now, there is no single accepted theory on how these complex phenomena are formed," said Evgeny Chuvilin, lead research scientist at the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology's Center for Hydrocarbon Recovery, who has visited the site of the newest crater to study its features.
"It is possible they have been forming for years, but it is hard to estimate the numbers. Since craters usually appear in uninhabited and largely pristine areas of the Arctic, there is often no one to see and report them," Chuvilin said.
"Even now, craters are mostly found by accident during routine, non-scientific helicopter flights or by reindeer herders and hunters."
Permafrost, which amounts to two-thirds of the Russian territory, is a huge natural reservoir of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and recent hot summers, including in 2020, in the region may have played a role in creating these craters.
The Yamal Crater was the first of these massive holes to be discovered in the region. It was first spotted in 2013 but grabbed headlines in 2014.
Mining a mystery
Chuvilin and his team are among the few scientists who have been down inside one of these craters to investigate how it formed and where the gas that causes them comes from. Accessing the craters has to be done with climbing gear and there is a limited window -- the craters turn into lakes within two years of being formed.
The scientists took samples of permafrost soil, ground and ice from the rim of a hole -- known as the Erkuta crater -- during a field trip in 2017 after it was discovered by biologists who were in the area observing falcon nesting. The researchers conducted drone observations six months later.
"The main issue with these craters is how incredibly fast, geologically, they form and how short-lived they are before they turn into lakes," Chuvilin said. "Finding one in the remote Arctic is always a stroke of luck for scientists."
A researcher climbs down the Erkuta crater.
An aerial view taken from a helicopter on August 25, 2014, shows a crater on the Yamal Peninsula, northern Siberia. It was the first to be discovered in 2013.
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From my understanding climate changes all the time without human intervention but dont tell Greta that
Here have this