The warming climate does not poll the future. Dangerous for the sustainability of ecosystems, it also poses a threat to the history and affects in Greenland archaeological remains, some dating back to 2500 years before our era, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Nature . “As the rate of degradation is directly related to the temperature and the moisture content of the soil, increased air temperatures and changes in precipitation during the thaw season may result in the loss of organic elements such as archaeological wood, bone, and ancient DNA”, summarizes the report. These elements were before protected in particular by the freshness of the soil.
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The team, led by Jørgen Hollesen, was studied for 2016 seven different sites in the west and south of the vast arctic territory, around the capital of Nuuk. In addition to the organic elements, such as hair, feathers, shells and traces of flesh found on some of them the ruins of ancient camps of the vikings. According to the projections used in the study and made from different warming scenarios, temperatures could increase by up to 2.6°C resulting in “the rise of the temperature of the soil, a season of cast iron more long-term”, explains to the AFP, the specialist archaeology environmental. “Our results show that by age 80, 30 to 70% of the fraction of archaeological organic carbon (found in the remains) could disappear,” he says.
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These elements, as evidence is unique for the life of the first inhabitants of Greenland from about 2500 bc, are in danger. Compared to previous surveys, on some sites, we found no bone intact or pieces of wood, which suggests that they are disintegrated in recent decades,” says the researcher.
For the preservation of archaeological remains, there should be more rain, because “if the organic layers remain wet, the microbes will have less oxygen available to degrade the organic matter”, sets out there.
there are more than 180,000 archaeological sites across the Arctic. In Alaska, hundreds of ancient artifacts have recently emerged from the permafrost, that layer of soil, once frozen throughout the year now that tends to melt under the effect of climate change.