With reference to the Permafrost, which among the following statements is / are correct?
1. Permafrost is found only in Arctic Region
2. Permafrost is mostly devoid of natural resources
3. Permafrost is highly susceptible to erosion
Choose the correct option from the codes given below:
Permafrost covers vast stretches of land at high latitudes and altitudes in both hemispheres. Most regions with permafrost are sparsely populated and remote, and contain vast natural resources in timber, minerals, oil and natural gas. Permafrost also contains almost twice as much carbon in the form of frozen organic matter as is in today’s atmosphere, frozen and inert for thousands of years. The remoteness, coldness and sheer scale of permafrost give the impression of stability on geologic time scales. But they are also the regions that will be hit first and hardest by the warming effects of climate change, because the Northern Arctic region is warming at twice the global rate. Should the permafrost thaw, the changes would be swift and irreversible, with global social, economic and climatic consequences Permafrost is perennially frozen ground remaining at or below 0°C for at least two consecutive years. Permafrost regions occupy about 24% of the exposed land area in the Northern Hemisphere. Permafrost also occurs in high mountainous regions in South America and ice-free regions of Antarctica. Permafrost does not occur everywhere, so permafrost regions are classified into zones based on the fraction of land area that contains permafrost. Continuous permafrost zones have permafrost underlying 90-100% of the land area; discontinuous permafrost zones have 50-90%; and sporadic permafrost 10-50%. Isolated patches refer to regions where permafrost underlies less than 10% of the land area Permafrost degradation is often accompanied by erosion and other physical changes to the landscape. Permafrost is highly erosion resistant, but if it warms and thaws, the ice which “glues” the soil together softens and drains away, making thawing permafrost extremely vulnerable to erosion or sudden collapse. When ice wedges and lenses melt and drain away, the overlying soil can collapse, creating a thermokarst depression.
This question is a part of GKToday's Integrated IAS General Studies Module