Piece of Space Shuttle Columbia Surfaces in Drought-Dried Texas Lake

dry lake stuff photo

Photo by Jacques Stephanne via Flickr CC

It can be amazing what we discover as weather and climate cause landscapes to shift shape. Texas has been the latest victim of serious droughts, and as lakes dry, what's been hiding in them for years surfaces -- most recently a piece of the doomed space shuttle Columbia. CNN reports that in East Texas, Lake Nacogdoches has revealed a 4-foot tank from the Columbia that was used to provide power and water for shuttle missions.

NASA spokesperson Lisa Malone told CNN that NASA is trying to develop a plan to recover the item, though that may take weeks -- meanwhile the object sits on the shoreline of a private stretch of the lake.

"We want to remind everyone that the rules are the same as they were back in 2003. If this object is indeed a part of the shuttle, it is government property, and it is a criminal offense to tamper with it," Sowell said.

Climate Change and Archeological Discoveries

While pieces of the space shuttle Columbia might be a discovery that can be credited to more immediate extremes in weather, climate change in general is speeding up discoveries as it speeds up changes in ice and drought levels all over the globe.

Earlier this year, researchers discovered ancient weapons as ice melted in the Canadian Arctic.

An entire lost civilization was discovered last year in Norway. Reuters reported, "Climate change is exposing reindeer hunting gear used by the Vikings' ancestors faster than archaeologists can collect it from ice thawing in northern Europe's highest mountains."

The many, many discoveries loosened from time thanks to a changing climate are exciting, but quite a price to pay for temperature shifts that may make our planet very difficult to call home generations from now.

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