Russia warns of ancient virus rising from permafrost

Russia warns of ancient virus rising from permafrost

Russian officials have warned that the melting of Arctic permafrost caused by climate change could wake up an ancient virus that has been dormant for millions of years.

Speaking to Russia’s Zvezda TV channel today, Nikolay Korchunov, chairman of the Higher Officials Committee in the Arctic Council, said that Moscow had proposed the project on biosecurity to the Council to prevent risks. Ancient viruses and bacteria had awoken from beneath the permafrost.

The Arctic Council is an intergovernmental forum consisting of eight sovereign states with land in the Arctic Circle, including the United States, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, and Sweden.

Korchunov stressed that the organization will be tasked with understanding the “risks and risks” associated with thawing of permafrost in the Arctic and the “potential for future transmission of diseases” from bacteria and ancient viruses. Grand.

Methane bubbles form when permafrost melts in the Alaska region near the North Pole. Photo: University of Alaska’s Fairbanks

Korchunov is not the first to point to the pandemic risk from climate change. Earlier this year, Russian scientist Sergei Davydov warned that melting permafrost could bring elements of ancient ecosystems to the surface, including viruses. According to Davydov, much of Russia is permafrost that hasn’t thawed for millions of years, and ancient viruses, some of which can be extremely dangerous, may be sleeping inside that ice.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin Recently often talked about climate change and repeatedly warned of the risks of global warming to the ecosystem and environment in Russia, including melting permafrost.

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Speaking at the Valdai Club last year, Putin said that 65% of Russia’s territory is made up of permafrost and that any ecological change would have huge consequences for the country’s infrastructure. Russia can have a big impact on the economy.

“This pipeline system affects residential areas built on permafrost,” Putin explained. “If 25% of the permafrost near the surface, about 3-4 meters thick, melts by 2100, we will feel a huge impact.”

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