Arabia Weather - Scientists have warned that ancient microbes that were frozen for thousands of years in the permafrost of Siberia have begun to thaw, and this could pose a “catastrophic” threat to humanity. Virologist Jean-Michel Claverie pointed out that as global warming progresses and the ice that remained frozen for thousands of years before the emergence of human civilization recedes, it could release ancient viruses that pose a major problem and threat.
For example, he explained, if an ancient disease killed a person, the frozen corpses of those people would still contain viruses that could remain active when thawing occurred. Indeed, viruses have appeared in the remains of mammoth wool, in Siberian mummies, and even in prehistoric wolves, and forms of the viruses have been found in the remains of influenza victims buried in Alaskan permafrost.
Scientists have highlighted six frozen pathogens that they believe pose a major threat to humanity
Previously, Claverie's team has revived giant viruses dating back as far as 48,000 years ago, and they have warned that there are potentially more ancient viruses in the ice, some of which may be able to affect humans.
The research team focused for a long time on giant viruses frozen in ice. These "giant viruses" are a type of panoravirus that can infect amoeba.
Previously, scientists have warned that global warming and thawing ice may reveal diseases such as smallpox frozen in the bodies of victims, where a small number of infectious particles are present enough to revive the disease-causing agent.
The planet's temperatures are already 1.2 degrees Celsius above the global average above pre-industrial levels. Scientists have warned that the Arctic may witness an ice-free summer by the 2030s.
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