Pleistocene Park: Creating an ice age ecosystem

An approach to limit melting of arctic permafrost

The Problem

Melting permafrost releases greenhouse gases, especially methane, that drive climate change. Permafrost in the north Siberian planes, for example, holds as much carbon as in all above-ground vegetation of the planet. When it thaws, an unforgiving feedback loop is set in motion: The melting of permafrost contributes to warming, leading to further melting and the release of more greenhouse gases.

The Solution

Sergey Zimov, a renowned scientist, and his son are combatting permafrost melt by reviving the ice age “Mammoth Steppe” ecosystem. Re-introducing an ice age ecosystem in this vast area of the Arctic will create a northern Serengeti, and mitigate global climate change. Natural grasslands, maintained by numerous grazing animals, will have the capacity to slow climate warming and prevent permafrost from melting.

Stage of Development

  • Early Stage
  • Established Prototype
  • Scaling
  • Other

Organization to Receive Funds

Pleistocene Park Foundation. Established 1977.

This project was nominated by: