The Weekend Wonk: Anton Vaks on Permafrost Melt

March 16, 2013

I’m posting the interview I did by Skype with Anton Vaks, whose recent research figured prominently in one of my recent videos.

Doctor Vaks has looked at the growth of speleothems, i.e. stalactites and stalagmites, in caves underlying areas of continuous and discontinuous permafrost in Siberia.  400,000 years ago, during an interglacial period slightly warmer than this one (so far), large areas of permafrost did go into a melting process once temp reached about 1.5 C above preindustrial temps. We are a little more than half way to that point, at about 0.8C above preindustrial.

The good news is, as the orbital cooling processes kicked in, the planet cooled, and permafrost did not run away. The bad news is, we are pushing the process much, much harder than the orbital forcings ever have.

Per Youtube limitations, had to break it up. Part 2 below.

If you have not seen yet, the permafrost video is below.

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3 Responses to “The Weekend Wonk: Anton Vaks on Permafrost Melt”


  1. [...] I'm posting the interview I did by Skype with Anton Vaks, whose recent research figured prominently in one of my recent videos. Doctor Vaks has looked at the growth of speleothems, i.e. stalactites…  [...]


  2. That’s one of the best “just the facts” paleo-climate interviews ever recorded.

  3. Jean Mcmahon Says:

    Scientists are just too “professional”…no use in having them lose their jobs,but hiw are we going to avoid the 1.5 degree C ? Take over the media.. I am just hoping for financial collapse….


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