Thawing Permafrost: Unveiling the Hidden Dangers Beneath Alaska's Frozen Ground 

 May 17th , 2024

Team LTG

Alaska's permafrost, the frozen ground beneath the surface, is thawing due to climate change, releasing hidden dangers that threaten the environment, infrastructure, and human health. 

Melting permafrost can release long-dormant bacteria and viruses, posing potential health risks to humans and animals. 

Release of Ancient Pathogens

Permafrost holds vast amounts of mercury, which can be released into the environment as it thaws, contaminating water and food sources. 

Increased Mercury Levels

Thawing permafrost releases stored carbon dioxide and methane, potent greenhouse gases contributing to climate change. 

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

As coastal permafrost thaws, it destabilizes shorelines, increasing erosion and threatening communities. 

Coastal Erosion

Buildings, roads, and pipelines built on permafrost face damage and collapse as the ground thaws and becomes unstable. 

Crumbling Infrastructure

Melting permafrost alters the landscape, affecting wildlife habitats, plant communities, and the overall balance of ecosystems. 

Changes to Ecosystems

The risks of thawing permafrost are real and significant. We must mitigate climate change and find solutions to protect vulnerable communities and ecosystems. 

A Call to Action