Breaking News: Some Arctic Ground No Longer Freezing—Even in Winter, Spokesperson & Visuals Available

New data from two Arctic sites suggest some surface layers are no longer freezing. If that continues, greenhouse gases from permafrost could accelerate climate change.

For the first time in recent memory, the ground that insulates the deep Arctic permafrost did not freeze in winter. In Cherskiy, 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle and one of the coldest spots on the planet, a team of scientists bored down into the earth and instead of finding hard soil, they found thick, slushy mud. Researchers in northern Siberia believe that this means the frozen land might be thawing far faster than expected.

This discovery has led some Arctic experts to weigh a troubling question: Could permafrost thaw begin decades sooner than many people expect in some of the Arctic’s coldest, most carbon-rich regions, releasing trapped greenhouse gases that could accelerate human-caused climate change?

Why did one of the coldest places on earth not freeze? What does this mean for global warming? How can this trend be prevented?

National Geographic’s climate and environment expert, Craig Welch, was on the ground in Siberia with the scientists and is available to provide insight into these concerns and address the ongoing research.

Read the full story HERE.

Craig Welch, National Geographic environment and climate expert, is available for commentary out of Seattle, Washington.

Press Contact:

Kelsey Taylor, Kelsey.Taylor@natgeo.com, 202-912-6776