The earth is a beautiful ecological planet with a very warm and suitable environment on the surface, and it is in such an environment that life can develop steadily and quickly. Although the earth is generally a warm environment, it does not mean that there is no particularly cold place on the earth.
In fact, the two poles of the earth are still relatively cold places, and these two places have been covered by ice and snow for tens of millions of years. Basically, they are the two coldest areas on the planet. The cold environment prevents most living things from living. Of course, the north and south poles are not without creatures. There are also relatively rare creatures that like to live in the cold north and south poles, such as penguins in the Antarctic and polar bears in the North Pole.
Originally, cold regions like the North and South Poles should be two relatively good pure land on the earth, but when mankind entered the era of science and technology, with the rapid development of industry, the continuous emission of a large number of greenhouse gases has made the earth’s greenhouse effect more and more Seriously, the global temperature is also rising.
The rising ambient temperature also affects the temperature of the north and south poles. The north and south poles, which used to be called forbidden areas for human beings, are no longer so cold. There are not only scientific research stations from all over the world, but also every summer. Many people travel to the North and South Pole. The original cold restricted area is now more and more crowded.
Perhaps in many people’s eyes, the rising temperature of the north and south poles is a great thing. We can finally go to the north and south poles to travel and see the cute penguins and other animals. You should know that in the past, because the North and South poles were very cold, humans had to take great risks if they wanted to enter them and explore them. If they could not get in or out, they were directly frozen into ice sculptures.
But now the temperature there is also rising, especially in the north and south of each year and after the arrival of summer, the temperature has also risen a lot, and the melting of glaciers has also formed beautiful rivers, and there is more and more green. Such a sight is a beautiful experience for tourists, but for scientists, it is not a good phenomenon, and they are full of worries.
Scientists worry about the Antarctic and the Arctic not only with the continuous melting of glaciers as the temperature continues to rise, but more importantly, the continuous melting of the permafrost. I believe many people know that there are permafrost in the north and south poles, especially the Siberian permafrost in the north pole is world-famous.
Permafrost, also known as permafrost or permafrost, refers to a layer of soil and rock that has been frozen continuously for many years. It can be divided into upper and lower layers: the upper layer melts every summer and freezes in winter, and is called the active layer, also known as the ice-thaw layer; the lower layer is frozen all year round and is called the permafrost or permafrost. They generally appear in high latitudes or high altitude areas.
The area where the permafrost can form must be a very cold place all year round, and this place has only the South Pole and the North Pole on the earth. Therefore, there is a permafrost layer in these two areas, but the permafrost layer will not melt easily, especially the lower layer area, which has been in a frozen state for tens of thousands of years or more than millions of years.
So what will be in the permafrost? We all know that carbon dioxide in the air will form dry ice because the temperature is too low, and methane will also form methane ice. In the Arctic and Antarctic regions, the temperature there is very low. Don’t look at the temperature in these two regions now. It is not so cold, but in the ancient times, it was absolutely cold to scare us.
Moreover, the freezing points of carbon dioxide and methane are not particularly low. The low temperatures in the polar regions are sufficient to allow the carbon dioxide and methane to be continuously frozen and then sealed in the permafrost. Therefore, there are a large amount of solid carbon dioxide and methane in the permafrost. We all know that these two are greenhouse gases.
The earth’s current temperature continues to rise due to the increasing content of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. Under normal circumstances, the gas in the outer layer of permafrost will slowly be released into the atmosphere and participate in the atmospheric cycle. Take methane as an example. During the Great Ice Age when the temperature is very low, methane in the permafrost will also be released, but the amount released is very small.
However, the rapid development of human industry has released a large amount of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, so the earth’s greenhouse effect has intensified, and the temperature has continued to rise. At this time, the melting rate of the permafrost is also accelerating, and more importantly, the frozen soil under the permafrost that has not moved for more than tens of thousands of years has also begun to recover. At this time, more carbon dioxide and methane were released from the frozen soil.
This will intensify the global greenhouse effect, and the intensified greenhouse effect will in turn make the frozen soil layer melt faster, and this vicious circle will become more and more serious. If it is just the continuous emission of greenhouse gases in the frozen soil layer, scientists will not be very worried. What really worry scientists is the ancient bacteria and viruses that are frozen in the frozen soil layer.
Viruses are objects between living things and non-living things. In nature, viruses can’t survive, but they won’t die (viruses will die under conditions of ultraviolet radiation, alcohol, etc.).
We know that many creatures once lived in high latitudes, such as: mammoths, polar bears, penguins, etc. After the death of these creatures, if the remains are not eaten by other carnivores or scavengers, then they are likely to be frozen under the permafrost layer, and the speed of decomposition by microorganisms is very slow. Therefore, the remains of many creatures are iced. Enclosed under permafrost and glaciers.
If it is the normal death of an animal that is frozen in the frozen ground, we don’t need to worry too much. But if the animals that died due to viral or bacterial infections are frozen in permafrost, then they may carry ancient viruses on their bodies. Once the permanent soil layer melts, these ancient bacteria or viruses may enter our current ecosystem.
You know, the creatures that can be frozen in the permafrost, especially those in the lower layer, must be very ancient creatures. It has been at least tens of thousands of years ago. If they carry bacteria or viruses, they are naturally very old. The ancient viruses and bacteria have basically disappeared in the earth’s ecosystem.
Life has evolved over a long period of time, and information such as gene structure has also undergone tremendous changes. The same is true for viruses. The current viruses are definitely different from the ancient viruses tens of thousands of years ago. Scientists collected some ancient virus samples and found that the ancient virus is much larger than our current virus. It is not an exaggeration to call it a super virus.
Obvious differences in size are only external manifestations, and differences in information such as internal gene structure are also very obvious. It can be said that we are basically ignorant of ancient bacteria and viruses. If such ancient bacteria and viruses enter our current ecosystem, if there is no impact at all, then it is definitely self-deception.
If ancient viruses have very strong harmful transmission, such as being able to infect humans, it may be a terrible virus crisis for humans. The virus crisis that occurred this year has continued until now, and scientists still have no particularly good means to completely eradicate this new virus. And this new virus is at least within the comprehensible range of human beings, and no matter how it mutates, it is developed on the basis of modern viruses.
However, we don’t understand the ancient virus at all. Once it is highly contagious, it will not be of the same grade as the current virus crisis. It is possible that a terrible doomsday crisis like the one described in some doomsday novels will happen. Therefore, protecting the environment and caring for the environment are actually protecting human beings and ourselves. When we continue to destroy the environment, we are in fact constantly leading mankind to more dangerous situations.