The Permafrost is Melting, Releasing Deadly Viruses (Video)
The Arctic's permafrost is thawing due to human-induced climate change, resulting in dire consequences. In Siberia, a mysterious anthrax outbreak claimed lives and led to the burning of thousands of reindeer carcasses. This occurrence had not been seen in over 70 years. Permafrost acts as a natural freezer, preserving organic matter for thousands of years. However, as it melts, it destabilizes the land above, causing landslides and the decay of previously frozen remains. As ancient plants and animals decompose, greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane are released into the atmosphere. Furthermore, the thawing process has the potential to unearth long-dormant diseases. The anthrax outbreak in Siberia likely originated from a reindeer carcass that had been frozen for decades. Scientists worry that other diseases once thought to be under control may resurface as permafrost continues to melt.
Approximately 35 million people reside near permafrost areas, making them particularly vulnerable. Additionally, the release of carbon from melting permafrost exacerbates global climate change, contributing to rising sea levels, heatwaves, droughts, and floods. The Arctic's plight underscores the interconnectedness of our actions and the urgent need to address climate change.
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Top image: Dangerous virus emerging from permafrost. Source: lukjonis / Adobe Stock.