Glacier may hold a record of the COVID-19 pandemic

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July 2020, by the National Science Foundation (NSF ) A research funded believes that from the currently available relevant information, glaciers that have not been affected by humans for centuries may indirectly record the trajectory of human production and lifestyle and society, and the current global outbreak of COVID-19 The relevant information will be saved and recorded in the glacier.

There are already signs that the current COVID-19 is affecting the Earth’s atmosphere. As people stay at home and drive less, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide levels have declined in most parts of China and the United States. Both are powerful pollutants formed mainly by burning gasoline and oil, which are the fuel for most cars. Scientists say that future glaciologists will find significant levels of nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide on the ice core’s nitrate and sulfate levels The level of decline. Future scientists may find other signs of COVID-19 in the ice that is forming today that scientists do not yet know. Scientists assume that the premise is that glaciers will continue to exist in the future. In the past few years, scientists studying ice cores have penetrated into the most remote and harshest environments in the world to drill ice cores. Especially in the coldest regions in the world, ice and snow will not melt every year, and accumulate year after year. These accumulations record the history of tens of thousands of years of the earth. Especially anything or substances formed in the atmosphere will be recorded by ice and snow. This includes microorganisms such as chemicals, minerals, bacteria and viruses, and other organic substances such as plant stems and leaves. This means that as a certain timeline, in some cases, the atmosphere changes year after year, just like the annual rings of trees. In 2018, an academic paper published by researchers in Ohio’s microbiology used ice cores to reveal the changes in the natural environment and man-made environment, showing the beginning of the industrial revolution in the late 18th century, the composition of chemicals released by humans into the atmosphere, Such as sulfate and nitrate, and the history of adding lead to gasoline. The ice core also recorded the Clean Air Method, which was passed in 1970. After that, the concentration of sulfate in the atmosphere decreased recording. Evidence of the existence of the plague was also found in these ice core records. The plague is also known as the Black Death, an epidemic in the mid-14th century, which is still the most deadly disease in recorded human history. On some glaciers, the ice formed during the plague years contained less lead than the ice formed in previous years. This may be because mining and smelting activities decreased sharply during this period. Just like today, some industrial activities have large Caused by the stagnation of scale. Also during the drought from 1345 to 1390, the earth experienced the Black Death, which reached its peak in 1350. Due to drought, lakes and other inland waters have dried up, the chemical composition of the atmosphere has changed, moisture has decreased, and dust has increased.

This article is reproduced please indicate the source and the author: Lanzhou Library of Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Environmental Science Resources Dynamic Monitoring Express”of 2020, Li Hengji compilation.