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Over the past few decades, climate change and global warming has had a string of adverse effects on the planet. And the signs of damage are increasing day by day.
Siberia has been facing the wrath of this global phenomenon over the years. Now, the ground bears the scars of climate change.
The Siberian permafrost (or frozen organic ground) is slowly thawing and this is resulting in huge, bizarre bumps on the ground. Many of the craters formed in between these bumps have been filled with melting water and have transformed into small lakes. The alarming rate at which the ground is thawing is a cause for major concern. The permafrost has frozen grass and shrubs and is a reservoir of greenhouse gases. When the layer thaws, these gases are directly emitted into the atmosphere.
The Siberian city of Yakutsk has been standing on a permafrost, the depletion of which will not only be a hazard for the city but also for Siberian climate and weather.
Siberia, and most parts of Russia, has witnessed a huge rise in temperatures, heat waves and an early summer with temperatures reaching almost 35 degrees.
A large part of it is due to global warming, oil spills, factory leakages as well as increase in eco-tourism. Yes, even friendlier modes of tourism and travel too play a pivotal role in increasing the temperature.
The COVID-19 pandemic too has had its share in this. With lack of proper maintenance, devastating Siberian wildfires in May proved to be deadly due to reduced workforce, and gave out large volumes of greenhouse gases.
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Though eco-tourism is beneficial in creating awareness about indiginous culture, and in creating employment among locals, it also leads to modernisation and artificial (often damaging) development of a place. Nature-based adventures, trails and extreme offbeat destinations are often held accountable for destruction of untramelled areas.
Experts says that there must be conscious efforts in de-escalating these ventures. Such tourism must be curtailed, and introduced with buffers like controlling daily visitor numbers, maintaining a tab over timings, and consulting environmental organisations about the best measures to protect the vulnerable areas. Sometimes that may mean not allowing any tourists at all.
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