When people think about Alaska, they typically picture a cold, quiet and serene place. Although it’s a relatively big place, it’s one of the least populated areas in the United States. On the surface, it looks like a peaceful place to live in.
But buried underneath the Alaskan ground lies a dangerous secret that can change the way you view Alaska.
Although Alaska may seem like a remote location, it’s actually surprisingly modern. Its cities are no different than other regular cities from around the world. But if you wander beyond the city, you’ll definitely be reminded that Alaska isn’t like most places in the world.
Going out in the open, you’ll see sheets of ice and massive glaciers towering over Alaska. This explains why the Alaskan climate is extremely cold by default. But did you know that the ice in Alaska isn’t only on the surface of the land? In fact, most of Alaska is experiencing permafrost, which means the Alaskan ground is permanently frozen solid.
Most of Alaska’s land stands on top of this frozen soil. It has been that way for a long time. The Alaskan people have been used to dealing with the cold climate and most of their houses and infrastructure are built on top of the permafrost land.
However, scientists found out that this is about to change very soon.
It’s common knowledge that in order for ice to remain solid, it has to be frozen. To consistently freeze ice, it has to be in a place with low temperatures and cold climate. But recently, temperatures have been rising all over the world due to global warming and Alaska was no exception.
In fact, summers in Alaska have been consistently getting hotter and hotter through the years which presents a huge threat for the Alaskans.
Global warming has been a major concern all over the world. But to places covered in ice like Alaska, it seems it’s starting to become a major threat. With the consistent rise in temperature throughout the years, Alaska is facing a major threat.
Over the past few summers, glaciers in Alaska are starting to melt which can cause catastrophic disasters in the future…
If more glaciers start melting, that means it will eventually lead to a rise in sea level. This sudden rise in sea level can cause major floodings and could potentially kill hundreds of residents living near the coastal areas in Alaska.
To avoid unwanted disasters, scientists came together in Alaska in order to monitor the changes in climate…
On the outskirts of Fairbanks, Alaska was a tunnel lying underneath the Alaskan soil. It wasn’t for transportation but it was actually home to the Permafrost Tunnel Research Facility. The tunnel was the perfect place for scientists to closely study and monitor that Alaska’s frozen soil beneath the surface.
As they observed the conditions of the frozen soil throughout the years, the scientists were starting to notice some changes in it.
Recently, scientists started to notice how the permafrost started to gradually thaw. This was an alarming discovery for them as most of Alaska’s infrastructure is built on top of this permafrost land, which can have some catastrophic consequences…
Everyone knows that in order for buildings to stay stable, they need a sturdy base to stand on. But if the ice starts to melt more, it can potentially cause Alaska’s major infrastructures to collapse.
Aside from the unnoticeable consequences of global warming brewing underground, global warming also has physical manifestations on the surface of the Alaskan ground.
Strange pockmarks have suddenly manifested itself amidst the melting permafrost underground. At first glance, these pockmarks may seem harmless but it might be a premonition that something worse is about to come.
If pockmarks start appearing me, it’s highly likely that sinkholes will start to manifest itself next. The scary part is that sinkholes may start forming beneath the city or the highway.
Scientists have also discovered something frozen underneath the ice. They couldn’t believe what they found. It’s physically small and practically invisible to the human eye but it can potentially have a huge impact on humankind…
Some ice samples taken from the Alaskan glaciers had some preserved remains of prehistoric creatures inside. One of the ice samples had a preserved body of a wooly mammoth.
It was certainly an exciting find, but when scientists thawed out the remains of the creature, they found something terrifying…
When the scientists finally freed the carcass from the ice, they immediately observed it and ran tests on it. They placed a small sample of the mammoth’s corpse under the microscope and they found something that they thought could only happen in science fiction movies.
The sample that the scientists found contained a frozen colony of ancient bacteria. They could not believe their eyes. Curious about how the bacteria works, the scientists defrosted it and observed it again under the microscope.
As the bacteria defrosted, the scientists were surprised at how it came back to life. However, they realized something disturbing. The bacteria they found could potentially end human life as we know if we’re not careful enough. And with the threat of global warming, it’s highly possible that it could cause devastating effects on our atmosphere.
As if the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere wasn’t harmful enough, the bacteria that the scientists discovered could produce methane gas! It’s a harmful greenhouse gas that traps the sun’s heat more than carbon dioxide does.
And with global warming causing temperatures to rise each year, the planet is facing a huge risk.
As the temperature rises, ice glaciers would start to gradually defrost, more and more of these ancient bacteria will start coming back to life. This can cause the earth to heat up at an alarming rate!
It’s an inevitable destructive cycle that we can’t escape. It’s a scary thought to think about but thankfully, scientists have found a silver lining to this seemingly tragic fate that humanity is about to face.
In case the permafrost melts, it’s actually capable of sustaining life as long as the land surrounding it is filled with trees. The trees could lessen the methane gas in the air as trees are known to consume carbon dioxide.