Exploring Our World: People, Places, and Cultures

Chapter 13: Physical Geography of Russia

Student Web Activity

"Siberia and Global Warming"

Much world attention has focused on the destruction of tropical rain forests around the world and the resulting effect on global warming. But did you know that a place as cold as Siberian Russia is affected by—and affects—global warming? Scientists are carefully watching the permafrost layer—a layer of permanently frozen soil below the surface—in Siberia. As temperatures in the area increase, possibly due to global warming, the permafrost is melting. This melting could lead to the release of high levels of the gas methane, which may have a much more damaging effect on the climate than carbon dioxide.

Destination Title: Siberian lakes burp “time-bomb” greenhouse gas

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Read the article to answer the following questions.

How are Siberian lakes releasing methane?
What is yedoma?
Why is the yedoma permafrost like a time bomb?
How did scientists measure the release of methane from the Siberian lakes?
Using this article, create a graphic that shows how global warming affects the Siberian permafrost and how its melting, in turn, affects global warming.
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