Climate change and its various effects, from melting polar ice and thawing permafrost to rising sea levels and violent storms, are exposing ancient relics and remains at an increasing rate across the planet, threatening them with rapid deterioration and endangering a major source of our knowledge about the past.
New Scientist reports that some archaeologists are so alarmed about the damage being done to these materials by global warming that they're urging colleagues to step away from their excavation sites and rush to preserve the suddenly-revealed specimens.
The destruction, ironically, is coming at a time when scientists have recently-developed techniques--ranging from sequencing of ancient DNA to chemical analysis of tooth plaque that shed insights about an ancient human's diet--that would provide us with a wealth of information about antiquity.
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"The archive is being destroyed just as we are able to read it," Thomas McGovern, an archaeologist at the City University of New York, told New Scientist.
In once-frozen areas of the northern hemisphere, melting glaciers are exposing frozen remains of ancient humans and animals faster than researchers can recover them, Scientific American reported in 2015.
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