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The enigma of the origins of the Earth threatened by global warming

© Marek Piwnicki/Unsplash

Threat to natural ecosystems, disruption of precipitation patterns, endangerment of food security and even slowing down of the Earth's rotation. These phenomena are just as many harmful consequences caused by global warming. On April 8, an article appeared in the journal Nature relaying another rather frightening reality: Antarctic meteorites, silent witnesses to the birth of the solar system, are disappearing at an alarming rate under the effect of warming.

These mineral fragments, essential to scientific research, could, in the more or less near future, become completely inaccessible. Like true records of our past, their disappearance could bring with it still unknown secrets about our solar system.

The accelerated disappearance of meteorites

According to this study carried out by Swiss and Belgian scientists, it could be that a quarter of the 300,000 to 800,000 meteorites recorded in Antarctica melt by 2050. How did these scientists arrive at this observation? By relying on a methodology combining satellite observations, artificial intelligence and climate projections.

The result of the study is as follows: for each increase of one tenth of a degree in the Earth's atmosphere, there are nearly 9,000 disappearing meteoritesof the Antarctic ice sheet. Harry Zekollari, glaciologist and co-author of the study, emphasizes the importance of these celestial bodies in scientific research. He explains that “every time we find a meteorite, it's also a sample of space that we take  “.

Each meteorite that disappears is therefore an essential clue to the origin and evolution of the solar system that is lost , an invaluable archive containing fundamental information about our own origins. A dead loss, which thus limits our understanding of essential phenomena such as the birth of life on Earth or the possibility of extraterrestrial life.

L&# 8217;clock is ticking without waiting for us

Consequently, the scientific community is facing a real countdown, before which they are largely disadvantaged. In fact, these meteorites disappear five times faster than they can be collected or studied. A phenomenon which makes this situation even more precarious and worrying.

Antarctica is the geographical area with the largest concentration of meteorites on Earth, and these treasures are located ;are disappearing at an unprecedented rate. Veronica Tollenaar, also a glaciologist and co-author of this study, insists on the fact that we are engaged in a real “ race against time ”. This is why she calls for international coordination to safeguard these precious materials.

If we want to hope to win this race, this coordination is the condition sine qua non, because certain regions of Antarctica < strong> are even more sensitive than others to the melting of the ice, and therefore to the disappearance of these meteorites.

Improvement of detection and collection methods

The task is herculean, and faced with this observation, scientists are seeking at all costs to increase their detection and collection capacity. To speed up this long process, the use of new means of collection is being considered: drones or snow scooters, for example, in order to gain mobility. Remote sensing technologies are also being studied to identify meteorites before they melt.

Regardless, Tollenar and Zekollari clearly remind us that the most effective long-term method is already known to everyone: reducing our greenhouse gas emissions faster than we currently do.

This rather alarming study exposes a fact that was still unknown to us. Global warming, in addition to directly threatening our future, also threatens to make our past disappear. The erosion of Antarctic ice is one of the least visible phenomena of global climate disruption by human activities, but its long-term impacts are very significant. The timer is on, now it's up to us to turn things around.

  • Global warming is causing Antarctic meteorites to disappear prematurely, which are veritable time capsules containing essential information about our solar system.
  • These natural archives are disappearing at a very sustained rate, exceeding our ability to collect and analyze them.
  • Scientists are working to improve their detection and collection methods to stem this phenomenon.

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116