Earth’s Perennially Frozen Environments as a Model of Cryogenic Planet Ecosystems


Elizaveta Rivkina, Andrey Abramov, Elena Spiran, Lada Petrovskaya, Anastasia Shatilovich, Lyubov A. Shmakova, Victoria Shcherbakova, Tatiana A. Vishnivetskaya


Permafrost and ice are important components of cryogenic planets and other bodies, which are abundant in the universe. Earth is one of many planets of the cold type. Earth’s permafrost and ice provide an opportunity to test hypotheses that could be applied in the search for possible ecosystems and potential life on extraterrestrial cryogenic planets. Permafrost sediments in polar and alpine regions are natural ecosystems with a unique feature of low‐temperature preservation of the biological material and its genetic information. Therefore, permafrost studies allow reconstruction of the events that occurred in the Cenozoic and the prediction of possible life that might have been preserved before the effect of anthropogenic factors on these ecosystems, and could be found within ice or permafrost on other cryogenic planets.

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Rivkina E, Abramov A, Spirina E, Petrovskaya L, Shatilovich A, Shmakova L, Scherbakova V, Vishnivetskaya T. 2018. Earth’s perennially frozen environments as a model of cryogenic planet ecosystems. Permafrost and Periglacial Processes 29:246-256.