News In Brief

Thawing Siberian permafrost troubles Soviet scientists

The ''permafrost'' zone in the Soviet Far East is retreating northward, apparently because of a global rise in temperatures, the official news agency Tass reported Friday. Permafrost, which is permanently frozen soil, affects most of Siberia and the Soviet Far East.

Tass added that Siberian economists were far from happy with the trend, because the breakdown of permafrost causes buildings and roads to subside and leaves the ground marshy and unusable. Scientists are looking for ways to halt the thawing process and stabilize the permafrost zone, it added.

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