Experts who are sampling ice cores from a China glacier have managed to find 28 viruses that have been frozen there for about 15,000 years,, and they were not previously known to mankind, according to the latest reports coming from Weather.com.
This massive discovery was revealed in a paper earlier this month that can be found on the website buiRxiv by the experts from Ohio State University, the University of Nebraska, and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Joint Genome Institute.
Glaciers from all over the world are continually shrinking, and this cannot mean but one thing: more and more viruses and microbes that have been frozen for hundreds of thousands of years will be eventually exposed, according to what experts have to say.
Of course, this is also giving scientists a massive chance to study the viruses, but “in a worst-case scenario, this ice melt could release pathogens into the environment.”
Experts also said that they feat that viruses and microbes could be forever lost is they are not cataloged before the glaciers that are holding them melt.
Two main purposes for virus study
The website mentioned above also addresses the two main purposes for which viruses are studied.
First of all, studying the viruses could prevent or prepare for future disease outbreaks. More than that, it could give experts various hints and clues about the climate in Earth’s history and also on which viruses and microbes were able to survive all kinds of extreme conditions on our planet.
Extreme Arctic melting – a new potential cause
Speaking of melting glaciers, we reported a few days ago that there’s a brand new suspect that might be triggering the extreme Arctic melting: ozone-depleting substances.
Experts made a brand new discovery. Such substances are hurting more than the ozone layer – they are also greenhouse gases, and this means that they contribute to the warning of our planet.