Scientists have said the melting of Arctic permafrost could release viruses and bacteria that have been dormant for tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of years,media BGR reported. DNA viruses will most likely survive in a frozen stationary state for a long time. And the best way to fight an outbreak of ancient viruses is to take action to curb climate change and ensure that these areas remain frozen.
Scientists are increasingly aware that the thawing of permafrost in the Arctic may wake up microbes that had been sleeping for long before humans occupied most of the world. These microbes are likely to survive in deep freezing for an extremely long time, and as the Planet warms, the frozen regions of the Earth throughout modern civilization are likely to reawaken.
As Mailed reports, this may sound like something from a sci-fi movie, but it’s not far from reality. At a recent scientific meeting, researchers discussed the possibility of disappearing permafrost and its release of microorganisms, which could cause some serious harm. Scientists have observed that permafrost has been rapidly lost over the past two decades, and that the situation will only get worse as the planet continues to warm.
“The idea that bacteria can survive for a long time, I think it’s certainly accepted, how long is the rest of the debate?” A million years? Is it half a million years? It’s 50,000 years? But yes, there’s a great paper that says yes, you can revive bacteria from deep permafrost,” Dr. Jean Michel Claverie, a virologist at the University of Aix-Marseille, told Mailonline.
There seems to be a consensus that DNA viruses pose the greatest threat to RNA viruses. These viruses are thought to survive longer in harsh conditions such as permafrost. RNA viruses are more susceptible to this condition, making them harmless. Bacteria may also pose a threat, but these diseases can be quickly contained as we acquire a variety of antibiotics. Viruses are quite another matter.