A lake formed 50 years ago in Alaska is emitting high levels of methane

Researcher Katey Walter Anthony, a collaborator with NASA’s Arctic Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE), revealed that Big Trail Lake, near the city of Fairbanks, Alaska, is releasing large amounts of methane into the atmosphere, which could contribute to global warming, the US space agency reported Thursday.

According to NASA, the Big Trail is a thermokarst-type lake, which means that its appearance is the result of the melting of permafrost, the permanently frozen soil found in the coldest regions of the planet, as a consequence of climate change. .

In Alaska in particular, the permafrost contains ice fragments. When this ice melts, the surface soil collapses and creates a sinkhole that can fill with water, forming a thermokarst lake.

“This lake wasn’t here 50 years ago,” Walter Anthony said, noting that previously “the ground was about three meters higher and it was a fir forest.” As the permafrost layer at the bottom of the lake melts, microbial activity also increases, causing the plants and other organic matter inside to decompose.

Source: RT in Spanish

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