Permafrost thawing accelerated – this could lead to the release of dangerous viruses and huge amounts of carbon

US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — Permafrost is frozen soil, which is located in the northern part of the planet. The depth of permafrost can reach a couple of meters or several hundred meters. It covers about a quarter of the open area, and its age reaches several thousand years.

According to experts, about 1.7 trillion tons of carbon, which was formed from the remains of plants and animals that died many thousands of years ago and are buried under a layer of ice, is in permafrost. It is worth noting that permafrost soil contains almost twice as much carbon as the atmosphere of our planet.

When permafrost begins to melt, carbon is released in the form of methane and carbon dioxide. They become the cause of the greenhouse effect and severe warming on Earth. If we take into account the report of experts on climate change, which was made last fall, then by 2100 most of the permafrost can melt. If carbon dioxide release continues, it will cause very strong warming as a result of greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, dangerous viruses and bacteria that hide under a huge layer of ice can break free. This has happened, according to scientists, several times already.

In 2016, an outbreak of anthrax was recorded, which, according to scientists, appeared due to the remains of infected reindeers. They were buried about 70 years ago, but due to the thawing of permafrost, anthrax escaped. Experts have warned that many dangerous diseases that provoke terrible epidemics can be freed from other graves.


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