Climate change is thawing permafrost - creating new threats 2

Climate change is thawing permafrost – creating new threats

Climate change is a threat – most agree. But now scientists are reporting further consequences.

Scientists today largely agree that climate change will pose a global threat if left unchecked. What many fear is the rise in sea level or the extinction of species.

However, there are also rare ways to revive species that are revived by climate change and become dangerous. Meanwhile, scientists are warning of bacteria and viruses still resting in the ice. They could be released by melting ice – and thus restore diseases that seemed eradicated long ago.

Climate change can bring back long-lived outbreaks

Anthrax, smallpox, bubonic plague – all the epidemics thought to have been long gone. But researchers warn it may not be so in the future. Due to climate change, soil permafrost is slowly thawing. Soils that have been ice-cold for thousands of years and thus restore pathogens.

Climate change thaws floors: a boy in Siberia has already died of anthrax

The dramatic consequences of this can be seen in the case of 2016, when several people in the Siberian tundra suddenly became infected with anthrax, i.e. anthrax. A 12-year-old boy even died.

According to the BBC, it could be the fault of a dead deer that was infected with the virus more than 75 years ago and has long been buried under permafrost. However, when they slowly melted after the heat wave of 2016, the germ could reach the soil and even into drinking water and therefore into food.

Experts warn of "Pandora's disease box"

Experts have since feared that this could not be an exceptional case. Because we assume that further pathogens still lurk in the frozen soil, why dissolving layers of ice in the sense of "could open Pandora's box of disease."

"Permafrost holds germs and bacteria very well because it's cold, oxygen-free and dark," explains evolutionary biologist Jean-Michel Claverie. "Pathogens that can infect animals or humans may have been preserved in old layers of permafrost, including some pathogens that have caused global outbreaks in the past."

Experts warn of the thawing of permafrost soils – and of new dangers. (Icon)

© dpa / Britta Pedersen

What are the germs hidden in permafrost?

For example, DNA fragments of the virus, found to have caused the Spanish flu as early as 1918, were found in the tombs in the Allian Tundra. Most likely, this is how scientists speak out loud BBC In addition, the plague goddess and berry could be buried in Siberia. NASA scientists, on the other hand, have already been able to revive bacteria trapped in a frozen lake in Alaska for more than 32,000 years. After that, they quickly became contagious again. Now the authors of the study fear it could also be applied to bacteria that could eventually be dangerous to humans.

Climate change creates new threats: will malaria arrive in Europe soon?

But not only do the supposedly extinct pathogens pose a threat to humans, but also those that already exist in isolated parts of the world. For example, with the rise in temperature, the malaria virus currently in Africa due to heat could sooner or later spread to the northern areas.

There are dramatic consequences of climate change

Whether old or new germs, anthrax or malaria are all terrifying predictions provided by science. It takes a long time to think again to prevent this.

Greta Thunberg also deals with climate protection. Currently, a climate activist is traveling a sailboat in the US. In the meantime, the Icelandic glacier has already been declared dead, making it one of the first victims of climate change. The one who likes to get involved in discussions is Jörg Kachelmann.

LRO