From subglacial lakes to polynyas to petrified fossils, each of the discoveries made from beneath the thick layers of permafrost that have covered entire regions of our modern world can tell scientists everything they need to know about the ever-changing climate and the state of the environment throughout the different periods of history.
In some cases, they’ve been able to get their hands on the microorganisms found within fossils and other items recovered to dig more into the makeup of the environment over time. And other times, they have even been able to turn those windows into doors by bringing some of the sleeping flora back to life!
Numerous tests have shown that humans are actually the number one cause of climate change. Since 1977, every year has gotten progressively warmer. Computer programs being used by scientists to track the data reported that 2016 was the hottest year in known history.
10,000 years ago, when the last ice age occurred, the temperature of the Earth was nearly 13 degrees cooler than it was at the beginning of the 2000s. Researchers have noted that at the rate the glaciers are disappearing, some mountain ranges might be completely free of the remains of these glaciers within the current century. However, it has also been reported that, for some reason, 19 major glaciers in southwest Asia seem unaffected by the rising temperatures.
Another unfortunate discovery of some adorable Ice Age big kitties that met their untimely doom at the hands of Mother Nature was made when the bodies of two 10,000-year-old cave lions were found in Siberia.
Eurasian cave lions are said to be one of the largest species of lions to have ever existed. Parts of these animals have been found in the area before, mainly bones, but this was the first time that their full, well-preserved carcasses had been discovered. The bodies were reportedly in such good condition that they still had blood in their veins, and the meat was fresh.
The Team Dig Deep
What could this group of scientists be up to so far away from all civilization? In fact, the story behind this photo is that this group of researchers spent two months at the South Pole on a mission to collect meteorite samples. If you look really closely, you will see the researcher in the maroon jacket holding one of the samples in a pair of pliers.
In the whole two months, this group of scientists gathered an astounding 570 samples of meteorites. This photo was taken at Miller Range on the side of Antarctica, below New Zealand. It is a reminder that ice keeps evidence of all kinds of happenings, including meteor or meteorite showers that have made an impression on the earth’s surface.
Frozen Blade of Grass
Nature has that incredible talent of taking some of the most ordinary things and making them look magical – like they are from some other world. Take, for example, this photo which simply shows a blade of grass and frozen water. And yet, it looks other-worldly. In fact, you would expect to find this in another galaxy.
The ice around the blade of grass forms strange bubbles – giving it the look of insect eggs (which are usually far from looking fantastic). There is beauty to this captured piece of nature, with the blade of grass frozen in this moment of time.