This is something I consider to be especially alarming, as the ice thaws things we may have never expected are making their way to us. Could there really be insane zombie viruses ready and waiting to wreak havoc on us?
You see, throughout history, we have existed alongside bacteria and viruses of all different kinds. This ranging from diseases we could fight to some we almost got wiped off the planet by. Climate change is melting all of the permafrost soils that have been frozen for thousands of years if not longer and as this happens ancient viruses and things of the sort will bounce back.
BBC reported as follows in regards to an instance of this happening just a couple years back:
In August 2016, in a remote corner of Siberian tundra, called the Yamal Peninsula in the Arctic Circle, a 12-year-old boy died and at least twenty people were hospitalized after being infected by anthrax.
The theory is that, over 75 years ago, a reindeer infected with anthrax died and its frozen carcass became trapped under a layer of frozen soil, known as permafrost. There it stayed until a heatwave in the summer of 2016, when the permafrost thawed.
This exposed the reindeer corpse and released infectious anthrax into nearby water and soil, and then into the food supply. More than 2,000 reindeer grazing nearby became infected, which then led to the small number of human cases.
The fear is that this will not be an isolated case.
The ice melting could open up a whole host of diseases we are not prepared to fight off. As temperatures rise we need to become more aware of this growing possibility. The things that will be released might be things we are not equipped to eradicate. One study carried out back in 2011 found that deadly infections of the 18th and 19th century may come back when the permafrost melts to a certain extent. This being especially in areas where the victims of these infections and such happened to be buried.
The study states as follows:
“Climate change in the Arctic may increase the risk of propagation of zoonoses due to expansion of vector habitats, development of more favorable climatic conditions for their survival during winter season, increases in average air temperatures, and permafrost degradation. Between 1900s and 1980s, the temperature of surface layer of permafrost increased by 2–4°C 1 Vasiliev AA, Drozdov DS, Moskalenko NG. Dynamics of perennial formations in West Siberia in relation to climate change. Earth Cryosphere. 2008; 12: 10–18.
, and a further increase of 3°C is expected 2 Anisimov OA, Velichko AA, Demchenko PF, Eliseev AV, Mohov II, Nechaev VP. Influence of climate change on permafrost in the past, present and future. Phys Atmosp Oceans. 2004; 38: 25–39.
. The second half of the 20th century was marked by accelerated increases in the temperature of the upper layer of permafrost and the depth of seasonal melting layer. “
“As a consequence of permafrost melting, the vectors of deadly infections of the 18th and 19th centuries may come back, especially near the cemeteries where the victims of these infections were buried 8 Myglan VS, Vaganov EA2005Epidemics and epizootic events in Siberia between the 17th and the first half of the 19th century, and long-term climate changes. Archaeology, ethnography and anthropology of Eurasia. 2005; 4: 136–44. (Russian).
. Frequently repeated outbreaks of anthrax caused death of 1.5 million deer in Russian North between 1897 and 1925 9 Kazanovsky ES, Karabanov VP, Klebenson KA. Selected aspects of tundra ecosystems of European North part of the Russian Federation, and veterinary problems of deer breeding. Agricultural science of Euro-North-East. 2006; 8: 189–92. (Russian).
. Cases of anthrax among people or cattle have been reported in 28,986 settlements of the Russian Federation. There are also 13,885 cattle burial grounds, of which 4,961sites do not meet Federal veterinary and sanitary standards 10 State report on sanitary and epidemiological situation in the Russian Federation in. 2009, Moscow 2010 (Russian).
. Other literature sources reported that more than half of these burial grounds did not meet sanitary standards and indicated lack of interaction between the state sanitary inspections and veterinary services. Some burial grounds have lost their official records of buried cattle or epizootic maps 11 Galkin VV, Loktionova MN, Simonova EG, Khadartsev OS2007Problems of safety of Anthrax cattle burial grounds. Epidemiol Infec Dis. 2007; 6: 54–56. (Russian).
. Many settlements do not exist anymore and were erased from local sanitary databases. Other settlements have become almost deserted by people, who could potentially guide sanitary authorities in mapping the boundaries of the burial grounds 12 Gavrilov VA. Prospects of solution of the problem of biological hazard of Anthrax cattle burial grounds. Disinfect and Anti. 2010; 1: 12–15. (Russian).
. Many of the anthrax cattle burial grounds are located in Siberia, where 6,688 settlements received the status of ‘stationary adverse’ territories for the risk of this disease. Taking into account the vast territory of Siberia, the density of such settlements is quite low (1.1 per 1,000 km2), even though the absolute number of such settlements in Siberia is 2.5 times greater than in European Russia.”
What do you think about all of this? Do you think this issues is as big of a deal as it sounds? I for one believe something NEEDS to be done, I do not want to come down with some insane ancient virus that we cannot treat properly.