A couple of days ago I posted this story about the odd hole in the ground that appeared in Yamal, which was immediately blamed on ‘global warming’ by some fool who hadn’t looked at it closely:
Anna Kurchatova from the Sub-Arctic Scientific Research Centre, thinks the crater was formed by a mixture of water, salt and gas igniting an underground explosion, a result of global warming.
The most plausible explanation so far is a collapsed “pingo”, and these new pictures and video from the Siberian Times suggest it probably is. The pictures below from Parks Canada show similar structures in the process of collapse. For those that want to blame the collapse on “global warming” you might also note it is summer in Yamal, and melting ice is a regular and expected occurrence.
Here is what a pingo structure looks like in cross section:
Here is what Parks Canada has to say about them:
© Parks Canada / 1988
When a pingo is growing, the ground stretches to accommodate its increasing surface area. The tundra splits apart in places, forming cracks – usually along the length of the pingo, especially near its summit – that may reach down as far as the ice core. If these cracks are large enough, the top of a pingo will resemble a crater. Sometimes water ponds in the crater, and this may begin to melt the ice core. More commonly, uplift of the sides of the pingo creates steep slopes that may become unstable and begin to erode. If the ice is exposed to the sun, the core will begin to melt. As its main support melts away, the pingo collapses.
© Parks Canada
When the ice core has completely melted, all that remains is a doughnut-shaped ring of raised tundra enclosing a small round lake. In warmer regions, such as Ireland and the Netherlands, remnants of collapsed pingos have helped scientists determine that the climate was once cold enough in these areas to support a permafrost environment.
And here is new video and pictures from the Siberian Times:
The hole is in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous, some 30 kilometres from the Bovanenkovo gas field. Pictures: Marya Zulinova, press service of the Governor YaNAO
UPDATE: A look at Google Earth for Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous reveals something like Minnesota’s Land-O-Lakes, but looks a lot like Land-O-Holes. See sat image: