Siberia's "Doorway To The Underworld" Is Very Quickly Getting Bigger

The tadpole-shaped Batagaika crater seen from above. Google Earth

Still, the paleontological wonders being liberated by the doom crack’s proliferation constitute something of a bright side to proceedings. Along with all the ancient pollen being unleashed into the modern world, there’s also apparently quite an old horse and even a mammoth poking their heads above the maelstrom of mud.

The newly discovered climatological records are where it’s all at, though. The doom crack’s treasure trove of sedimentological goodness goes back all the way through the interglacial warm period 125,000 years ago, which back then caused all manner of ecological upsets.

Understanding this key period of warming will help us understand how life on Earth will react to today’s warming world. Spoiler alert – not well, if the current, record-setting extinction rates are anything to go by.

The crack really is more “doom” than “interesting,” though. There’s a chance that its growth is also releasing a ton of long-trapped methane and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere too.

Thermokarsts in Canada's Hudson Bay, pictured back in 2008. Steve Jurvetson/Wikimedia Commons; CC BY 2.0

So it’s not just a visual sign that the climate is warming, but an active participant in proceedings. What a pesky doom crack.

[H/T: BBC Earth]

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