Scientist Sergei Zimov has been taking samples of melting permafrost in northeast Siberia, finding something other than mud but instead something quite smelly…and it’s not fresh.
What he has found is actually mammoth dung, a scientist who has studied for approximately 30 years climate change in Russia’s Arctic.
For many many years, layers of animal waste and other organic material of animals that resided in the Arctic Tundra are now thawing after being enclosed in frozen permafrost. Zimov believes that the increased exposure of the organic material will accelerate global warming faster than forecasted and which he believes will be impossible to stop. The microbes which have been dormant for many years, will be brought to life. Their by-product will emit carbon dioxide and methane levels in enormous quantities, further impacting the already worsening news about global warming.
The deposits of organic matter is much larger than global oil reserves. As of today, the US government states that humans emits 7 billion metric tons of carbon a year. That’s a huge number, but in comparison to what is trapped in permafrost from thousand of years ago? 500 billion tons!
The scientific community says that permafrost stores a lot of carbon, with upper layers containing more organic carbon currently in our atmosphere. Scary.