Siberia: why warming permafrost worries experts

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If recent temperature records don’t really surprise them, scientists are primarily concerned with an accelerated thaw of organic matter in the soil.

38 degrees in Verkhoyansk, a small town located beyond the Arctic Circle, and the taiga that is on fire … For several weeks, Siberia has been facing an exceptional heat wave. A scorching early summer reminiscent of the ecological disaster that occurred last year in the region when millions of hectares of forest had gone up in smoke. For scientists, this new episode of heat is not really surprising. “Siberia has a continental climate. It is not uncommon to reach 35 degrees during the summer,” said Florent Dominé, director of research at the CNRS. “We also know that this region, like the rest of the planet, is warming and that temperature peaks are becoming more frequent. The records recorded recently are therefore entirely consistent with this long-term trend,” adds Gerhard Krinner, climatologist , CNRS research director at the Institute of Environmental Geosciences (Grenoble) and member of the IPCC.

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