When I ask which topic is important today, I see Europe from above, as if I were hovering many kilometres above it. Then something pulls me east, to Russia, Siberia.

Spirit: The melting of the permafrost and the release of methane gas is the next important challenge.

Me: What can we do about it?

The spirits show me large blocks of ice that you use. That can’t be meant seriously, can it?

Me: Ice blocks would also thaw and where would you get so many huge ice blocks from?

Spirit: It is meant symbolically and is about cooling.

I wonder how that’s supposed to work. So far I haven’t heard anything about it.

Spirit: You can also pump out the methane gas.

Me: People would do that if they could, wouldn’t they?

I notice that I don’t know anything about measures against permafrost thawing.

Spirit: They don’t see the urgency in Russia yet.

I have to do some research.

Me: And what should we do in Germany?

Spirit: Watch.

Great.

Me: And why do you tell me all this at all when we can’t do anything here?

Spirit: You listen to us. It brings all people more knowledge about the climate problem in other regions.

Me: They can get that elsewhere in more detail and more scientifically.

Spirit: Your readers probably don’t read that.

Me: What happens if nothing is done?

Spirit: It can burn. It is not exactly foreseeable, but it has a very strong influence on the whole world. Helpers and experts from all over the world will come to Russia. There will be more situations where you just have to watch and trust in others who are there and who are experts. Only with the consequences you will become active, there you have to do.

Me: How can we individuals prepare ourselves?

Spirit: Not at all. It is not foreseeable what exactly will happen. Rest so that you have energy. Enjoy the calm before the storm. Encourage your community so that you can stick together.

I thank them and say goodbye and then sit down at the computer to research the Internet. I expect to find many articles with measures against the thawing of permafrost. But first I only find the warning that we have to reduce CO2 emissions so that the global temperature rise remains below 2 degrees and the permafrost soil does not thaw so strongly. But what if that doesn’t work? What is Plan B for methane gas? I find many explanations and research projects on permafrost, but where are the measures?

After some searching, I finally find an article that describes how China and Canada are building special railway lines and passive cooling systems to keep the ground as cool and ventilated as possible. This would match the symbolic ice blocks the Spirits have shown. Some Russian farmers are laying out large grazing areas with grazing animals to keep the soil cooler. More plant growth can initially counteract the greenhouse gas emissions of the permafrost soil. But this only temporarily cushions the problem.

And yes, it can also burn, since there are often peat layers on the permafrost soil that burn particularly easily. Due to global warming there is also increased plant growth, which can become a burning material. This summer there were already very large fires of 1000 square kilometres in the Siberian tundra. The fires do not only cause CO2, but also warm the soil, so that the permafrost melts even faster.

Just by the way it is mentioned in an article that the methane gas can also be pumped out, but that it is not economically worthwhile. I am surprised that nothing is said about this from a scientific point of view. And if it doesn’t “pay off” economically, can it not be pumped off as a globally promoted climate protection measure? I can’t find any information on that.

If this is one of the greatest dangers for climate change, why is more effort not put into developing countermeasures, and if it is, why is it not communicated?

Sources:

spektrum.de: Der andere arktische Klima-Teufelskreis

eskp.de (Earth System Knowledge Platform): Fragen und Antworten zum Permafrost

jonas-schoenfelder.de: Natürliche Kühlung für tauende Böden

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator

What to do against permafrost melting?

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