The phrase “never let a potential climate crisis story go to waste” must be in CNN’s news handbook because this headline has absolutely nothing to to with global warming aka climate change.

The story at CNN titled Massive mystery holes appear in Siberian tundra — and could be linked to climate change is a red herring of the smelliest kind, because if the writer Katie Hunt had bothered to do even the simplest of web searches, she would have learned that this crater, peculiar to that part of Siberia, is called a Pingo. It has been known to western academics since 1825, ruling out the paranoia of “climate change” in recent decades as the cause.

In fact, all Katie had to do was look on Wikipedia for the answer:

Pingos are intrapermafrost ice-cored hills, ranging in height from 3 to 70 m (10 to 230 ft) and 30 to 1,000 m (98 to 3,281 ft) in diameter. They are typically conical in shape and grow and persist only in permafrost environments, such as the Arctic and subarctic. A pingo is a periglacial landform, which is defined as a non-glacial landform or process linked to colder climates. It is estimated that there are more than 11,000 pingos on Earth. The Tuktoyaktuk peninsula area has the greatest concentration of pingos in the world with a total of 1,350 pingos.

In 1825, John Franklin made the earliest description of a pingo when he climbed a small pingo on Ellice Island in the Mackenzie Delta. However, it was in 1938 that the term pingo was first borrowed from the Inuvialuit by the Arctic botanist Alf Erling Porsild in his paper on Earth mounds of the western Arctic coast of Canada and Alaska. Porsild Pingo in Tuktoyaktuk is named in his honour. The term pingos, which in Inuvialuktun means conical hill, has now been accepted as a scientific term in English-language literature.

1825? That’s well before the the Industrial Revolution, said to really begin to affect the planet in 1850, which is blamed as the primary cause of “global warming”, according to NASA:

Global warming is the long-term heating of Earth’s climate system observed since the pre-industrial period (between 1850 and 1900) due to human activities, primarily fossil fuel burning, which increases heat-trapping greenhouse gas levels in Earth’s atmosphere. 

Basically, a Pingo is a plug of ice that can form due to poor drainage, pushing up a small hill as the ice expands, and when the condition of the soil changes, the ice melts, and the soil around it collapses, leaving a crater.

Diagram showing how closed system (hydrostatic) pingos are formed. Figure Is adapted from E. Farrell. Creative Commons free license from Wikipedia

This isn’t rocket science; it definitely isn’t climate science.

As we have previously reported on Climate Realism, this part of Siberia above the Arctic Circle is a place of extremes due to it’s location where it gets 24 hour a day summer sunlight, and temperatures as high as 100°F a result, and 24 hour a day darkness during winter, resulting in weeks of sub-zero temperatures.  We reported that 100°F plus temperatures have been observed in Siberia over 100 years ago, because it is normal for that location.

Climate alarmist media like CNN would like you to believe this crater is caused by the fossil fuels putting more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. But, history tells us these Pingos go back centuries, long before the left started to blame your SUV for wrecking the planet.

One of the researchers says so himself deep in the article, but most people only read the headline, and the CNN headline fingers climate change:

He spoke to a reindeer herder who witnessed a massive explosion of a mound on a river channel in the Yamal Peninsula in 2017.

“Every morning she was going to this small frost mound in the river because it was the highest place and she was looking where her reindeer were, and this morning when the explosion happened she came again and she started to feel something in her legs and she was afraid of it and she ran.”

“When she was in the distance — 200 or 300 meters there was an explosion. She could have been killed,” he said. Other craters have formed less than 3 kilometers from railways and an oil pipeline, he added.

Bogoyavlensky isn’t convinced that the primary cause of these craters is warming temperatures linked to climate change. Villages and herding communities he has spoken to have told him that older generations have shared stories of explosions creating craters in the tundra. 


Gosh, older generations knew about it, and history records the phenomenon way back in 1825, well before “global warming” aka “climate change” was ever an issue.

If only CNN could learn to use a search engine like Google, and maybe visit Wikipedia they could actually call themselves journalists.

Anthony Watts is a senior fellow for environment and climate at The Heartland Institute. Watts has been in the weather business both in front of, and behind the camera as an on-air television meteorologist since 1978, and currently does daily radio forecasts. He has created weather graphics presentation systems for television, specialized weather instrumentation, as well as co-authored peer-reviewed papers on climate issues. He operates the most viewed website in the world on climate, the award-winning website



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