Mysterious holes in Siberia may be craters of climate change explosions

Via Boing Boing, ‘Holes like this one have been appearing in Siberia — at least three are known so far. There are a couple of theories for whats causing them and both are linked to climate change.

First, there’s the idea that the holes are created when mounds of ice, covered with earth, melt. Called pingos, the loss of the ice would leave behind a big hole that collapses in on itself. Given the rising temperatures and melting of permafrost in Siberia, it wouldnt be surprising to find that pingos are melting.

But, other scientists argue, these holes dont really fit the look of a pingo collapse. Which brings us to the other, fairly awesome, possible explanation. Some observers have noted the presence of smoke and flashes of light in the places where the holes appeared. Theres also been some weirdness in the atmospheric science world with spikes of methane turning up in air over Siberia.Thats leading some scientists to speculate that the holes could be forming when methane from melted permafrost builds up in a space left by a melting pingo — eventually leading to an explosion.’