As many as 7,000 massive underground methane bubbles, formed by thawing permafrost are set to explode in Siberia. Such explosions, while releasing greenhouse gases, can create massive craters and poses a major safety risk to the local people.
Methane Bubbles
© Steve Jurvetson/Wiki Commons
As the permafrost continues to melt it gives a Swiss cheese-like appearance to the landscape in the Arctic.
Scientists were puzzled over the appearance of numerous craters across the Siberian permafrost over recent years - including the famous 'gateway to the underworld' crater near Batagaiin. Later, it was discovered that unseasonably high temperatures have released methane stored in the permafrost, causing a sort of explosion that forms the craters.

Last year, more than 15 bulges or bulgunyakh in the local Yakut language, were discovered by researchers in Siberia's remote Bely Island. In a followup research, using extensive field expeditions and satellite surveys. thousands of bulging bumps in the Yamal and Gydan peninsulas have been identified.

Alexey Titovsky, director of Yamal department for science and innovation, said:
We need to know which bumps are dangerous and which are not. Scientists are working on detecting and structuring signs of potential threat, like the maximum height of a bump and pressure that the earth can withstand. Work will continue all through 2017. Their appearance at such high latitudes is most likely linked to thawing permafrost which in is in turn linked to overall rise of temperature on the north of Eurasia during last several decades. An abnormally warm summer in 2016 on the Yamal peninsula must have added to the process.
It is estimated that hundreds of gigatonnes (Gt) of carbon is presently locked up as methane and methane hydrates under the Siberian permafrost which is more than the amount of carbon that is already in the atmosphere today. Land-based permafrost, in Siberia, was estimated in 2013 to release 17 million tonnes of methane per year - a significant increase on the 3.8 million tons estimated in 2006, and estimates before then of just 0.5 million tonnes.