According to Hugelius, there is no other way to put a stop to a continuing melting permafrost than to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

- The emission curve needs to turn now, he says, adding that there must be "drastic" reductions over the next 10-20 years to reverse the trend.

Melting permafrost accelerates climate change

An increasing temperature in the Arctic parts of the world, not least in Siberia, has caused the permafrost, the constantly frozen soil, to begin to melt. When it melts, it releases both carbon dioxide and methane gas which accelerates climate change further.

- These are very large quantities. The permafrost covers large parts of the Arctic, an area three times the size of the entire EU area, says Hugelius.

The permafrost contains very much old coal and old plant parts, which also makes greenhouse gas emissions extra large.

- We project that before the end of this century, greenhouse gas emissions from the permafrost will correspond to all the gas that the EU is emitting today, Hugelius continues.

Yet there is hope

However, Gustaf Hugelius is optimistic, even though the knowledge of politicians and decision-makers is not yet in phase with research on the growing climate problems. But if economic growth after the corona pandemic can change from fossil fuels to renewable energy, there is hope.

- We can still handle this, but what happens in the coming years will be decisive.