Alaska permafrost may thaw by 2100
Permafrost on most of Alaska may melt by the end of the 21st century, Arctic-Info said quoting a US Geological Survey report. American researchers have drawn up a prospective permafrost map of Alaska based on data from Landsat climate satellites, special statistical models and calculations.
About 38% of mainland Alaska is covered by permafrost at the moment, which is mostly concentrated in the central and northern areas of the state. According to the US scientists, the frozen part will shrink by 24% in 85 years, leaving only 14% of Alaska in permafrost.
Researchers expect near-surface permafrost in central Alaska to thaw completely while large areas of permafrost will remain in the north.
According to the report, the melting permafrost will release large amounts of organics frozen in the soil, which will rot letting out methane and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and further accelerating global warming.