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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Permafrost May Shrink

NOVOSIBIRSK, Western Siberia () -- A group of researchers in the Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences has predicted that the permafrost zone in western Siberia may shrink by 200 kilometers by the middle of the 21st century.

A warming trend would mean that thousands of square kilometers of land in western Siberia would no longer be part of the permafrost zone.

Research has already revealed that parts of the areas south of the Yamal Peninsula in the northern part of western Siberia are already much warmer and by the end of the next century the permafrost there may only be 15 to 17 meters from the surface.

The scientists' report, presented at a meeting Thursday, says the warming trend could create new possibilities for farming and allow the cultivation of vegetables, but could also cause buildings and other man-made structures in northern areas to crumble.