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The next pandemic could come from melting glaciers

© APA/AFP/ODD ANDERSEN / ODD ANDERSEN

Die rising temperatures as a result of climate change rapidly melting the world’s glaciers. In relation to the future drinking water supply, the height of the sea level and the global climate balance, it has far-reaching consequences.

Research teams are now making one another possible consequence attention, which is not yet really present in connection with melting glaciers. We are talking about biological substances that are melting ice exposed shall.

Bacteria and viruses are exposed

bacteria and viruses which had been locked in the ice for several thousand years could be exposed by the melting of the glaciers, reawaken and possibly the one there wildlife infected. In the worst case, such a previously unknown virus can be transmitted to humans – with unpredictable consequences.

Glaciers in Greenland

Glaciers in Greenland

In Siberia there was 2016 a sudden anthrax outbreak that killed a child and infected at least 7 other people. This was due to a heat wave that melted the permafrost and a reindeer carcass exposed. The last time there was one in the region was in 1941 anthrax outbreak.

Ancient viruses in glacial lakes

To better understand bacteria and viruses trapped in the permafrost, scientists have numerous samples of the arctic Freshwater Lake Hazen extracted from melting glacial ice. Because of this they have RNA and DNA of samples analyzed.

The first findings were carefully and vaguely formulated. However, it is clear that in the vicinity of glacial lakes, Riskthat animals become infected with previously unknown viruses is higher than elsewhere. which viruses and bacteria The researchers found in Lake Hazen should show further investigation.

Melting glacier in a global warming environment

Difficult to estimate

There are also numerous side effects and interactionswhich cannot be predicted. Because of the melting glaciers and rising temperatures, it is also changing habitats of animals. Some species push further north or to higher altitudes, bringing them into contact with areas hitherto unknown to the animals.

All this includes such many variables, which makes it particularly difficult to predict or estimate the dangers. In any case, it is necessary that the subject receives more attention and appropriate research must be carried out analyzes performed shall.

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