Creepy Scenario: Global Warming Wakes Up Super-Viruses

In a creepy, strange twist to the usual global warming disaster scenarios, scientists have now found ancient viruses that are being released from the ice that is swiftly melting due to the well-documented global rise in temperatures.

Popular Science recently published an excellent article on this topic, and it says:

Melting polar regions are already causing unprecedented sea level rise but there are other threats besides water buried in the swiftly melting ice. Since 2003, large viruses (longer than 0.5 microns) have been found ensconced in permafrost, a layer of soil in the Arctic that is usually permanently frozen. In a new study published in PNAS today, scientists announced that they were studying a 30,000 year old virus found in the same frigid environment. The ancient virus, Mollivirus sibericum, is able to infect a modern amoeba, which raises concerns among scientists.

Could ancient viruses awaken and devastate the human population? The scope of that risk is not really known, but scientists are becoming concerned.  Check out the full article over on Popular Science for the rest of the story.



Photo Credit: US Geological Survey

Next, Check Out: