Scientists had expected that the frozen soil layers (glaciers) in Canada’s Arctic region would not deteriorate for the next 70 years. However, recent research surprised. It turns out that these glaciers are already beginning to melt.
Frozen lands in the north are melting earlier than expected
According to the satellite images obtained in the researches; The once frozen surface (glaciers) collapses in places, leaving a scene similar to a perforated cheddar cheese. Speaking to How it Works magazine, Louise Farquharson, a PhD at the Permafrost Laboratory at the University of Alaska, “We were all amazed that the system responded so quickly to temperature change,” says Louise Farquharson. Frozen soil is the name given to soils that have remained frozen for at least two years. Approximately 15 percent of the northern hemisphere is covered with frozen soil and this layer plays a critical role in the transfer of carbon from living organisms to the atmosphere.
It is thought that the rising temperatures of summer accelerate the melting due to the lack of vegetation covering the soil. The effects of melting have become visible today. When the top of the soil melts, irregular subsidence begins and the topography of the region changes. The former flat lands of the Canadian Arctic are now filled with pits and small lakes. The area at the far north of the area where the research was carried out collapsed 90 centimeters throughout the research. The glaciers have visibly melted. “We were able to link the change in air temperature and ground temperature with the change in topography,” says Farquharson. It is estimated that the melting will affect the global climate and its ecological reflections in the region will be seen in a short time.
Farquharson said, “You can think of frozen lands like a giant freezer. It contains plants and organic substances that have not been decomposed by microbes. When it starts to melt, the refrigerator door is opened. Microbes are beginning to turn organic matter into carbon dioxide. When the physical structure of the region changes, the local ecosystem is also affected. “New plants grow, constant feeding cycles are disrupted, sediment from currents begins to accumulate in the area,” he says.
Farquharson and his team state that they have determined that an area of 600,000 square kilometers is in danger of rapid melting.