The countries most affected by the disappearance of permafrost will be Canada, Russia, Mongolia, Greenland and Norway, along with Alaska. Fortunately, many of the areas currently covered by permafrost are only sparsely inhabited, so the direct impact on humans may be minimal. However, disappearing permafrost will affect the terrain and the plant and animal life in these areas considerably. In general, ground that was previously frozen solid will turn into mushy wetlands, and in some areas, where the soil is held up over empty cavities, the land will collapse, formng sinkholes and eventually lakes where forests used to be. As the land changes, so will the plants and animals that live on it. In Alaska, for example, moose have started moving north into the newly formed wetlands, and the caribou that formerly occupied them have been pushed further north.
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