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Massive hole in Siberia worsening due to climate change

Staff Writer |
With the ominous nickname of the “gateway to the underworld,” a gargantuan crater growing in Siberia is growing rapidly due to climate change.

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The Batagaika crater has sunken to depths of nearly 400 feet and has been growing at a rate of more than 60 feet per year, according to Motherboard, Ada Carr writes for The Weather Channel.

Since its creation in the early 1990s, climate change has worsened and caused heat waves that melted layers of glacial ice.

This melting caused the land underneath to collapse, creating the gaping depression.

Scientists are calling the Batagaika crater a “megaslump,” which is an enormous void. When permafrost rapidly thaws, it creates rifts and causes “scar zones” that sink into the saturated land.

“I expect that the Batagaika megaslump will continue to grow until it runs out of ice or becomes buried by slumped sediment,” Dr. Julian Murton told Motherboard. “It’s quite likely that other megaslumps will develop in Siberia if the climate continues to warm or get wetter.”

These craters pose what some researchers have referred to as a “climate time bomb.”

The Arctic’s permafrost contains both methane and carbon dioxide, which could be hazardous to our environment if released.

Read the original story here.

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