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Originally posted by Hellmutt
As we already know, the ice is melting rapidly in the Arctic regions. When the ice melts viruses and bugs hidden for thousands of years may thaw and escape. Viruses we thought we had eradicated or viruses even unknown to science may re-emerge.
Cape Times: Big thaw could unleash ancient plague
September 30, 2005
Deadly bugs lurking in the ice
As global warming melts the world's ice sheets, rising sea levels are not the only danger. Viruses hidden for thousands of years may thaw and escape - and we will have no resistance to them.
Illnesses we thought we had eradicated as common viruses, like human influenza, could have a devastating effect if melting ice releases a bygone strain to which we have no resistance. What is more, new species unknown to science may re-emerge. And it is not just humans who are at risk: animals, plants and marine creatures could also suffer as ancient microbes thaw out.
In 1999, Scott Rogers from Bowling Green State University in Ohio and his colleagues reported finding the tomato mosaic tobamovirus (ToMV) in 17 different ice-core sections at two locations deep inside the Greenland ice pack. Gentle defrosting revealed that this common plant pathogen had survived being entombed in ice for 140 000 years.
Since then Rogers has found many other microbes in ice samples from Greenland, Antarctica, and Siberia. And this has turned out to be just the tip of the microbial iceberg. Over the last 10 years biologists have discovered bacteria, fungi, viruses, algae and yeast hibernating under as much as four kilometres of ice all over the world.
Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
I have already been thinking about this scenario but I brushed it away as it was too disturbing. Now I just found this story and it suddenly seems like a possible scenario. Animals are at risk too. Watch the animals. If they start to die mysteriously, alarm bells should ring bigtime. How can we possibly protect us against this threat?
[edit on 2005/9/30 by Hellmutt]