Can Horses Prevent Permafrost Thawing?

Horses and other grazing animals have been shown to drastically reduce the thawing of permafrost in the Arctic, Drs. Christian Beer, Nikita Zimov, Johan Olofsson, Philipp Porada and Sergey Zimov report.

Permafrost in the Arctic is thawing at a rapid rate each year; as it melts, it releases large amounts of carbon that has been trapped inside it for millions of years. This release is detrimental to the environment.

The scientists reported that grazing animals in the Arctic can drastically slow the rate at which the permafrost thaws—most likely keeping 80 percent of the world’s permafrost intact until 2100. Published in Scientific Reports, their findings are from ongoing experiments in Pleistocene Park in Siberia. The team used horses, bison and reindeer to see how the grazing animals can decrease the rate of permafrost warming. Snow insulates the permafrost, even when the ambient temperatures drop below freezing; the hooves of the grazing animals disrupts the snowy layer, allowing the permafrost to stay cool.

The addition of more grazing animals can help permafrost remain intact.

Read more at Equine Wellness magazine.

Read the full report here.

The post Can Horses Prevent Permafrost Thawing? appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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