Permafrost Cover in Mongolia Shrinks

2023-12-08 11:35:18

Ulaanbaatar, December 8, 2023 /MONTSAME. The permafrost cover in Mongolia decreased by 33.7 percent over the past 45 years from 1971 to 2016.  


In the Khentii Mountains, the southern boundary of permafrost has shifted to the north by 178 km, in the Khangai Mountains by 94 km and it has thawed by 240-900 m in the area of Altai Mountains. According to the Minister of Environment and Tourism of Mongolia, the area of permafrost is expected to decrease by 33-61 percent by 2050.

Mongolia, located on the southern border of the Central Siberian Plateau or transition zone, is quite vulnerable to climate change. Permafrost is defined as soil and rock that remains at or below zero temperature over two years and it positively affects the surrounding ecosystem as the primary source of surface and groundwater.


In total, the permafrost zones cover 29.3 percent of the territory of Mongolia. By permafrost distribution, Mongolia ranks fifth in the world after Russia, Canada, the USA, and China.

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