Rare tropical permafrost near Mauna Kea’s summit diminishing, researchers find

Here in our tropical paradise some researchers are doing their studies in the cold.
Published: May. 20, 2023 at 2:32 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Researchers have discovered that rare tropical permafrost near the summit of Mauna Kea is gradually receding.

The frozen soil patches, a scientific anomaly in this tropical paradise, show signs of shrinking over time, raising questions about the underlying causes.

Dr. Norbert Schorgofer, a planetary scientist from the Planetary Science Institute, sheds light on this phenomenon.

“The permafrost is melting, long term the snow is also projected to disappear, more like the end of the century” said Dr. Schorgofer.

“But the permafrost, we’re looking at decades or less.”

He goes on to say that you could try to help the permafrost from melting by placing a protective tarp over the body of frost, but it would have to be on there for 10,000 years.

“There’s no lasting way to prevent it from melting,” said Dr. Schorgofer

Dr. Schorgofer said that the dwindling permafrost may not have any known negative impacts on the environment, but it’s a remnant of the past, that scientists will be sad to see go.