The bioRxiv portal has published a preliminary report on the dangerous finds made during the 2015 Sino-American expedition to Tibet. Then scientists took cores from a 50-meter depth of a melting glacier, extracting ice 15, 000 years old. Further study in the laboratory showed the presence of 33 viral groups in it, of which 28 were detected for the first time in history. And this is just the tip of the iceberg of problems that is approaching us along with global warming.
Scientists warn that it is not the heat that is dangerous, but the breakdown of the usual climatic mechanisms. The viruses found could lie under the ice for thousands of years without posing any danger. Instead, we can now expect the emergence of hundreds of new forms of microorganisms - taking into account the polar caps, glaciers and permafrost, the vast territory of the planet is an effective freezer in which these microbes were buried in the past. Now they have a chance to come to life - with unpredictable consequences.
There are great doubts that viruses that killed dinosaurs are fatal to humans. But it is absolutely certain that many corpses in official cemeteries in the Arctic Circle are infected with diseases that are well known to us. The permafrost is melting, as the whole world was convinced of in 2017, when the supposedly ultra-reliable genetic storage of seeds in Svalbard flooded. In Siberia, scientists now and then take out from the ground perfectly preserved corpses of ancient animals - if wool is preserved, then there will be fleas potentially infected with the proto-plague or its analogs.
To make matters worse, melt water from millennial ice is already seeping into aquifers, flowing into rivers and lakes. The process of releasing old microbes is in full swing, and it is not known what our world will be populated tomorrow. How dangerous will this "gift from the past" be for people and other living beings on our planet?