Without a trace: Yakutia lake vanishes in the depths of winter amid climate change

A lake near the village of Cherkyokh in the Tatti district of Yakutia has disappeared under cover of the winter snow and frost, leaving behind only a series of ice-covered tunnels.

Footage taken on Friday, January 27, shows local residents walking in the dried-out corridors formed at the bottom of the former reservoir.

Residents noticed the phenomenon before the New Year and reported it to scientists. According to one local, Eduard Vyrdylin, the water disappeared in less than a day.

Nikita Tananaev, leading researcher at the Melnikov Institute of Permafrost in Yakutia, explained that the lake had always been connected to a stream taking water away, but that global warming had played a big role recently.

“In the changed climate these processes for some reason began to occur more quickly, more vividly and more evidently,” he said.

“Moisture-saturated sand has started to freeze only now. Consequently, it reduces the space for water movement and pressure is caused. That is why water does not just flow very slowly, but passes through the soil and potentially through such tunnels at great pressure,” he stated.

“What now seems like an anomaly and something abnormal, unimaginable, will be normal in the climate future,” he continued. “Nature thus prepares us for what will happen in 30, 40, 50 years.”

Archive footage also shows the water level of the lake the previous summer.

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