Climate change is causing the permafrost, or frozen soil, to thaw at an alarming rate, revealing deadly viruses and bacteria that have been dormant for tens of thousands of years. The melting permafrost in the Arctic and other regions is releasing ancient microorganisms that humans have not yet been exposed to, which could lead to deadly new diseases. Potential sources of the next pandemic include the so-called zombie virus and other pathogens that could emerge from melting permafrost. While scientists have been studying the permafrost and its potential consequences for years, there are still major gaps in understanding how it could affect human health and the environment. Governments and other institutions need to develop proactive measures to mitigate the risks associated with melting permafrost and reduce the chances of future pandemics.
Today: December 10, 2023