Pestilence: Another Consequence of Losing the Cryosphere and the Permafrost

The Corona 19 virus has had an unprecedented effect on our complex, interlinked global economy. It is merely a forewarning of what we have unleashed as the cryosphere and the permafrost melts.
“For the past 15,000 years, a glacier on the north-western Tibetan Plateau of China has hosted a party for some unusual guests: an ensemble of frozen viruses, many of them unknown to modern science.”

“Scientists recently broke up this party after taking a look at two ice cores from this Tibetan glacier, revealing the existence of 28 never-before-seen virus groups.” Only two ice cores uncovered 28 new viruses.

Investigating these mysterious viruses could help scientists on two fronts: For one, these stowaways can teach researchers which viruses thrived in different climates and environments over time, the researchers wrote in a paper posted on the bioRxiv database on Jan. 7. Ancient never-before-seen viruses discovered locked up in Tibetan glacier

From an article in Popular Mechanix titled “Welp, Scientists Found 28 New Virus Groups in a Melting Glacier

  • “Scientists have unearthed 28 previously undiscovered viruses, which were trapped in glacial ice from 15,000 years ago.
  • The team collected the samples from the Guliya ice cap in Tibet, and published their work to the pre-print website, BioRxiv.
  • As glacial ice and permafrost around the world continues to thaw, scientists are concerned that ancient pathogens and toxic chemicals may be released into the environment.”

“When reindeer started dying in Siberia, at first scientists blamed the heat. But there seems to be a more insidious cause: Anthrax.”
“After an investigation, scientists have determined that the culprit is anthrax, which hasn’t been seen in the country since 1968. Scientists believe the source of the anthrax is an old reindeer carcass that was frozen during the last anthrax epidemic 75 years ago. The current heatwave thawed the carcass, allowing the dormant bacteria to spread.” Thawed Reindeer Corpse May Have Triggered Russian Anthrax Outbreak

“Mammoth bones are surfacing in the Russian Far East — so many that people have begun selling the tusks as a substitute for elephant ivory. And in 2016, more than 70 people in western Siberia were hospitalized for exposure to anthrax, likely spread from a decades-old reindeer carcass that thawed from frozen ground.”
Thawing Permafrost: “25% of the Northern Hemisphere is permafrost”

Ignorance is our enemy

“In my darkest moments, I see a really horrible future for Homo sapiens because we are an animal, and when we extend our borders things will happen to us,” said Birgitta Evengard, a researcher in clinical microbiology at Umea University in Sweden.”
“Our biggest enemy is our own ignorance,” she added. “Nature is full of microorganisms.”
“Microorganisms can survive in frozen space for a long, long time,” said Vladimir Romanovsky, a professor of geophysics at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks.

Climate change may bring back viruses that were long thought to be dormant

“There is zero guarantee that this set of living arrangements will hold together much longer considering the threats we know it is under with the next ‘Black Swan’ hovering in the wings about to appear.” This is the End, Beautiful Friends, The End

So much to look forward to, so little time. Brace for imminent impact. These are the ‘Good Old Days’, they certainly aren’t going to get better. Every single last analogue is heading in the wrong direction and our predicament can only be worse than we know.
“The Path of Increase is Slow but the Road to Ruin is Swift” Lucius Seneca
Seneca

 “Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” Dylan Thomas.

I'm an anti-imperialist, environmental activist and blue ocean sailor, who is passionate about the earth and all it's inhabitants without favour. Brace for imminent impact as we bare witness to the non-linear unraveling of the biosphere and habitability disappearing for most if not all complex life on the only habitable planet we know of. To quote President Niinistö in North Russia: ‘If We Lose the Arctic, We Lose the World’. Folks we have lost the Arctic.

Posted in Arctic, permafrost, Pestilence, Viruses
61 comments on “Pestilence: Another Consequence of Losing the Cryosphere and the Permafrost
  1. Kevin Hester says:

    “With accelerating climate change, we’re going to be in a world of hurt,” he said, “with some of these diseases that have in the past been restricted in the tropics extending, as we’re beginning to see.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/04/14/australia-japanese-encephalitis-climate-change/?Japanese&fbclid=IwAR1oLL1WDYSRjzTTBPvhhWlN46dhlX7D8LxEPMVFS7FJqDUHtfBODFhhOVI

    Like

  2. Kevin Hester says:

    ‘Potentially devastating’: Climate crisis may fuel future pandemics
    ‘Zoonotic spillovers’ expected to rise with at least 15,000 instances of viruses leaping between species over next 50 years

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/apr/28/climate-crisis-future-pandemics-zoonotic-spillover?fbclid=IwAR0gG2-1GP-nTlFuJ2RyQT7vnZyC6B9HETyIMv1cTXK0HRoLgLRLehqqVMg

    Like

    • sealintheselkirks says:

      On and on it goes, eh? Don’t know if I posted this:

      Estimated COVID deaths may be three times higher than we think

      https://www.msn.com/en-xl/news/other/estimated-covid-deaths-may-be-three-times-higher-than-we-think/ar-AAVfe8S

      Some 18 million people across the globe may have died in response to the COVID-19 pandemic — three times the number previously reported by the WHO, according to a new Lancet study.

      Researchers at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) set out to measure something called “excess mortality” — the difference between the number of deaths during the first wave of the COVID pandemic and the number of deaths that would have occurred in its absence.

      Their study says its estimates indicate that “the full impact of the pandemic has been much greater than what is suggested by official statistics.”
      ___

      I don’t remember if I posted this one so I’m doing it again:

      ‘Spillover’ diseases are emerging faster than ever before—thanks to humans

      https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/spillover-diseases-are-emerging-faster-than-ever-beforethanks-to-humans

      History is pockmarked with the scars of past zoonotic outbreaks…
      ___

      Here’s a current piece of info that is NOT being broadcast on MSM as far as I can tell. Anecdotal but valid I think.

      The owner of the 2nd Hand store’s best friend in New Hampshire, East Coast USA, just lost toes to diabetes and is in a rehab facility trying to learn to walk again without them. Carol called last week to tell Kathy that she and three other rehab patients have now been put in totally locked-down quarantine, nobody in or out without Moon Suits on, because all four of them have come down with Avian Flu. I asked Kathy if Carol said what form, like H1N5 or something, and she told me that it wasn’t a number but a long name that she couldn’t remember so I have no idea if it’s the same strain that is rampaging through the chicken and turkey slaughter factories back east.

      A friend of mine in Maryland wrote a week ago that hundreds of birds of all species have been found dead in a protected park nearby and tested positive for Avian, and a native american friend wrote that there has been a rash of eagles dying of this shit.

      Riddle me this: Why is it that humans tend to talk about ‘what is coming’ when it is blatantly obvious that this shit is already happening? De Nile is deep in our species.

      sealintheSelkirks

      Liked by 1 person

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Kevin Hester

Kevin Hester is currently living on Rakino Island, a small island in the Hauraki Gulf near Auckland, New Zealand, monitoring the unravelling of the biosphere and volunteering at the Rakino Island Nursery is currently developing a proposal to create a marine reserve near by. The Island has no grid tied electricity or reticulated water.  I catch my own water from the roof and generate my electricity from the ample solar radiation on the island.

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