Tuesday, 28 July 2020 17:00

Scientists claim risk of waking up ancient viruses due to melting

Melting frost due to climate warming can lead to the release of fragments of ancient ecosystems, including viruses, RIA Novosti was told by Sergey Davydov, senior researcher at the Northeast Scientific and Experimental Station in the village of Chersky, Pacific Institute of Geography, Far Eastern Region of the Russian Academy of Sciences. [hi-tech.mail.ru]

"More than 10% of our country is permafrost. These are rocks, deposits that were frozen millions of years ago. Accordingly, we can get what was once part of the ecosystem. There was a huge mammoth ecosystem with animals - mammoths, sheep, woolly rhinos, there were their own diseases. It was all frozen, and now it is melting, "said the scientist.

Davydov noted that researchers are finding new viruses that, "fortunately, do not pay attention to humans."

He noted that the number of Yukagirs - the people of northeastern Siberia - at one time decreased due to black smallpox, which was accompanied by high mortality. "The fact that smallpox has survived somewhere in the permafrost is not ruled out. Epidemics that were in the past need to be studied, "the source said.

In addition, according to the scientist, anthrax was found in the remains of mammoths.

In turn, the deputy director for science of the Institute of Permafrost named after P.I. Melnikov SB RAS, a leading researcher at the International Scientific and Educational Center for Biogeochemistry and Climatology BEST at the Institute of Natural Sciences SVFU MEC BEST Alexander Fedorov said that climate change in Yakutia increases the risk of anthrax release from burial graves and ancient bacteria.

"This problem (the risk of thawing cattle trucks with anthrax spores - Ed.) Was before the warming of the climate. Channel processes in our rivers sometimes opened such burial grounds. And with a warming climate, this risk increases much more, "he warned.

In addition, according to the scientist, the melting of permafrost can cause other problems. "Many bacteria are released with permafrost degradation. Professor of Moscow University Anatoly Brushkov has been publishing materials on ancient bacteria from Yakut permafrost in the Russian and Yakut press for many years, "Fedorov said

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