Am writing the second part of this post because I left out some very important fact in the first one. I forgot to talk about the harmful effects of the burning crater. I guess I was perhaps, carried away by its awesomeness.

The Darvaza gas crater have been burning for over 50 years now. As impressive as this crater may look, it if having adverse effects on the environment. The presence of the fire jeopardise other reserves nearby and also compromise the safety of individuals close to the area. The 230 ft wide crater is also a notorious emitter of methane which is very harmful to the environment.

The crater is aflame due to the presence of natural gas that is constantly spilling into the crater, keeping the fire going. Gas is one of Turkmenistan’s most abundant resources. In fact, Turkmenistan has one of the largest gas reserves in the world. Now, with large amount of methane gas being burnt in the crater every day, you can only imagine the amount of gas that has wasted for the past 50 years.

In a televised address, President Berdymukhamedov puts it this way; “We are losing valuable natural resources for which we could get significant profits and use them for improving the well-being of our people”.

For the environment, the closing of the Darvaza Gas Crater will be a welcome relief. The crater is known to leak methane, a significant component of natural gas. But quite a significant proportion of the gas is able to escape without being lit aflame.
Methane is known to be around 80 times more powerful than carbon dioxide in terms of its greenhouse effect. But this effect is for the shorter time span, as methane degrades naturally in the atmosphere.
Turkmenistan is already one of the most significant methane emitters in the world, only behind Russia, the United States, Iran, and Iraq, according to the International Energy Agency. The closing of the gas crater will reduce the methane emission of the Central Asian nation to a certain extent.


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