Valuable Meteorites Sinking In The Antarctic Due To Climate Change

(MENAFN- Swissinfo) Rapid action is needed as climate change is causing thousands of meteorites to sink into Antarctic ice every year.

This content was published on April 9, 2024 - 11:25 3 minutes Keystone-SDA

That is according to an international research team quoted in a study published on Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change.

“Meteorites are unique samples of extra-terrestrial objects that provide crucial information about the origin and evolution of our solar system,” the researchers said in the study, which was led by Harry Zekollari from the federal technology institute ETH Zurich and Veronica Tollenaar from the University of Brussels in Belgium. They said that fragments of the moon, Mars and asteroids were of great importance for planetary research.

More than 60% of all meteorites found on Earth were found in the Antarctic, with around 1,000 specimens found there every year. It is estimated that around 300,000 to 850,000 meteorites lie undiscovered on the Antarctic ice.

More More Swiss researcher finds spectacular meteorite in Antarctica

This content was published on Jan 18, 2023 A rare meteorite weighing 7.6kg has been found in Antarctica by a researcher from the Swiss federal technology institute ETH Zurich.

Read more: Swiss researcher finds spectacular meteorite in Antarctica 5,000 meteorites sinking every year

According to the study, around 5,000 meteorites are already sinking into the ice every year, a figure the scientists calculated using regional simulations and machine learning. According to the calculations, around a quarter of all the meteorites there will have disappeared by 2050. By the end of the century – depending on how much the climate warms up – it will be up to 76%.

Even at temperatures below 0°C, meteorites are already sinking, the researchers stressed, as black meteorites are strongly heated by the sun and the ice beneath them melts.

To preserve the unique information Antarctic meteorites hold, the researchers recommended increased international efforts, including revisiting known sites of discovery, and investigating previously unexplored areas over the next ten to 15 years with larger search operations. At present, decisions on where to search for meteorites largely depend on the availability of logistical support and the scientific priorities of national governments.

Adapted from German by DeepL/kp

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