Pandora’s box opened? In addition to viruses, these things are buried under the permafrost!

Some people say that the Arctic permafrost is like a “Pandora’s box”. Now it is being opened little by little, and all kinds of climate disasters spread all over the world. With the aggravation of global warming, the Arctic permafrost has begun to melt. In fact, the consequence of permafrost melting is far more than the rise of sea level. Many scientists think that the terrible thing is what is buried.

Generally speaking, the structure of permafrost is divided into upper and lower layers. With climate change, the upper layer will experience the process of melting and then freezing, while the lowest layer will never melt. With the rising temperature, this equilibrium has been broken. What was once preserved in the permafrost has experienced thousands of years of wind and frost evolution, and has been isolated from the world. Now that the permafrost is beginning to melt, scientists are beginning to worry.


Bacillus anthracis

When many people talk about the thawing of permafrost, the first thing they think about is the virus buried in it. In 2016, a little girl in Siberia died of a virus, anthrax. At that time, in addition to the little girl, there were more than 20 people who were also hospitalized for the disease. The source of the outbreak is not diet, but anthrax bacteria stored in the permafrost. As the glaciers melt, the bacteria that have been buried for several years re-enter the food chain. They first boarded on the mountains of more than 2000 reindeer, and reindeer spread the virus to people. What worries scientists is that there is far more than one virus in the permafrost, and many viruses that have been stored for thousands of years are ready to go. If the glacier melts completely, the virus will also be released completely.


In addition to viruses, there is another object under the permafrost, which is carbon. It is estimated that these permafrost layers contain about 1.7 trillion tons of carbon, which is caused by the decay of plants and animals in ancient times. Due to the long-term ice and snow cover, these permafrost layers have never entered the nature. With the melting of glaciers, these carbon will re-enter the ecosystem and join the natural cycle. Now the content of carbon dioxide continues to rise. If these carbon are released into the atmosphere, it will accelerate the rise of global temperature, and a new vicious cycle will begin.

diesel oil

In May this year, a serious diesel oil leakage accident broke out in the Arctic. This accident led to 20000 tons of diesel oil leakage, which seriously affected the local soil and water sources. The river water was dyed red, which is a fatal threat to human beings. If human beings use these polluted water sources, there will be a new round of disease and even death.

Therefore, the things buried under the permafrost are beyond our imagination. If the rate of global warming is not controlled, once the permafrost melts, it is too late for us to save it.

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