Thursday, August 07, 2014

Scientists may have cracked the giant Siberian crater mystery — and the news isn’t good

A crater, discovered recently in the Yamal Peninsula, in Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, Russia. (AP Photo/Associated Press Television)
By Terrence McCoy — August 5, WashPost

Researchers have long contended that the epicenter of global warming is also farthest from the reach of humanity. It’s in the barren landscapes of the frozen North, where red-cheeked children wear fur, the sun barely rises in the winter and temperatures can plunge dozens of degrees below zero. Such a place is the Yamal Peninsula in Siberia, translated as “the ends of the Earth,” a desolate spit of land where a group called the Nenets live.

By now, you’ve heard of the crater on the Yamal Peninsula. It’s the one that suddenly appeared, yawning nearly 100 feet in diameter, and made several rounds in the global viral media machine. The adjectives most often used to describe it: giant, mysterious, curious. Scientists were subsequently “baffled.” Locals were “mystified.” There were whispers that aliens were responsible. Nearby residents peddled theories of “bright flashes” and “celestial bodies.”

(More here.)

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