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This Massive Crater, Dubbed 'The Gateway To Hell' Suddenly Appeared In Siberia, And Scientists Say It's A Warning To Us All

This Massive Crater, Dubbed 'The Gateway To Hell' Suddenly Appeared In Siberia, And Scientists Say It's A Warning To Us All

Ian Johnston | Independent

It is known as “the Gateway to the Underworld” by local people who fear to go near the massive crater that suddenly appeared in the frozen heart of Siberia.

And they are right to be afraid.

For as the permafrost melts, the world’s biggest “megaslump” is expanding rapidly. Already about a kilometre long and 90m deep, it is widening by up to 20m a year, making walking near its precipitous edges a dangerous pursuit.

But Batagaika crater, which first appeared about 25 years ago, is also a sign of the rate at which the world is warming – smaller ones have been appearing increasingly across the northern hemisphere.

The melting of the permafrost represents one of humanity’s greatest fears for it contains vast amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas much more potent than carbon dioxide.

If it were all to melt – a process that would start on an epic scale after about four degrees of warming – it would likely tip the planet into an extreme scenario the full horror of which is hard to describe.

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