As global warming progresses, the gigantic fridge is being openned. Microorganisms decompose the organic matter, thereby releasing the carbon that was stored in the plant remains, into the atmosphere as CO2, methane or nitrous oxide. These are dangerous greenhouse gases. Methane has a global warming potential 30 times that of CO2. The greenhouse gas potential of nitrous oxide is almost 300 times as high.
Furthermore, there are still unknown viruses and bacteria in the permafrost. When the ground melts, these escape into the environment and can significantly endanger the health of all humans and animals. Living creatures in coastal regions are particularly affected, as the permafrost melts fastest there.
In addition to pathogens, CO2 enters the oceans, which further contributes to ocean acidification. This in turn results in a long-term change in living conditions and species composition. In addition, fresh water is added to the oceans through thawing of the permafrost. This process reduces the salinity in the Arctic Ocean, which has a negative impact on ocean circulation and increases the rise in sea level.