Photo illustration: Gazprom.ru

Permafrost might be reduced to half by century’s end

Under growing risk are buildings and infrastructure, the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations says.
October 13, 2016

By year 2050, the extension of the permafrost in Russia might be reduced by 25 percent and by the end of the century - by up to 56 percent, a Ministry prognosis shows.

«This will imply growing risks for a breakdown of buildings, transport infrastructure and pipelines», Acting Head of the Ministry’s Center of Emergency Monitoring and Prognosis, Konstantin Moskin says, Interfax reports.

The permafrost melting already has grave consequences, Moskin said in a conference this week. In places like Igarka, Dikson and Khatanga, as much as 60 percent of the buildings are already distorted and in settlements in the Taymyr Peninsula, up to 100 percent of the houses have got deformations. In Tiksi, 22 percent of the buildings are affected, in Dudinka - 55 percent, and in Pevek and Amderma - about 40 percent.

«This increases the risk of emergency situations», the ministry representative underlined.

More than 60 percent of Russian territory is covered by permafrost.

The quick permafrost melting is triggered by the abnormal temperature increase. In Russia as a whole, the temperature has since 1970 increased by 0,43 degrees Celsius per decade.

Meanwhile, in the Russian Arctic, the temperature increase has in the same period been as big as 0,9 degrees.

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The temperatures in the area could continue to increase by as much as five degrees in the course of the century, the ministry believes, Interfax reports.

Russian authorities have reasons to fear what might come. According to Konstantin Moskin, up to 80 percent of existing facilities in Russian Arctic industry, electricity, transportation and the housing sector is worn out and need replacement. 

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