'Martian' lakes in the driest desert on Earth









The Atacama Desert, the driest and oldest on Earth, is located in northern Chile and has a hyperarid heart which at least 500 years ago there have been no rains. But this has changed in the last three years. Rain episodes have been recorded for the fisrts time in the hyperaryd heart and, suprisingly, the sudden abundance of water was devastating for the existing microbial life. 

This is the conclusion of a recent study, published in Nature Scientific Reports, bay an international group of researches from the Spanish Centro de Astrobiología (CAB, CSIC-INTA). For scientists, these unexpected rains are attributed to global climate change.

The study represents a breakthrough in understanding the microbioloby of extremely arid envronments. It also presents a new paradigm to understand the evolutionary route of the hypotetical early Marcian microbiota, because of Mars is an hyperarid planet that experienced catastrophic floods in ancient times.


 

Fuente: UCC-CAB

 

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