Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Saturday, November 21, 2020

In the last 10 years, warming in the Arctic has outpaced projections so rapidly that scientists are now suggesting that the poles are warming four times faster than the rest of the globe. This has led to glacier melt and permafrost thaw levels that weren't forecast to happen until 2050 or later.... Permafrost covers 24 percent of the Earth's land surface, ... The layers may still contain ancient frozen microbes, Pleistocene megafauna and even buried smallpox victims. As the permafrost thaws with increasing rapidity, scientists' emerging challenge is to discover and identify the microbes, bacteria and viruses that may be stirring.



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...Some of these microbes are known to scientists. Methanogenic Archaea, for example metabolize soil carbon to release methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Other permafrost microbes (methanotrophs) consume methane. The balance between these microbes plays a critical role in determining future climate warming.

Others are known but have unpredictable behavior after release. New evidence of genes moving between thawing ecosystems indicates a restructuring at multiple levels. In the Arctic Ocean, planktonic Chloroflexi bacteria recently acquired genes used for degrading carbon from land-based Actinobacteria species. As melt-swollen Arctic rivers carried sediments from thawing permafrost to the sea, the genes for processing permafrost carbon were also transported.

Permafrost thaw in Siberia led to a 2018 anthrax outbreak and the death of 200,000 reindeer and a child. But the hardy spores of Bacillus anthracis may represent an exception to the brutal freeze-thaw cycle that degrades more delicate bacterial and viral pathogens. Their adaptable characteristics have allowed them to remain frozen and viable over centuries of inactivity.

Organisms that co-evolved within now-extinct ecosystems from the Cenozoic to the Pleistocene may also emerge and interact with our modern environment in entirely novel ways. A potential example, the emerging Orthopoxvirus species Alaskapox causing skin lesions, has appeared and disappeared in Alaska twice in the last five years. It is possible that the virus was transmitted through animal-human contact, but this novel virus's origin remains unknown. ...

#1 | Posted by LampLighter at 2020-11-21 10:25 AM | Reply

More fun ahead!

#2 | Posted by hamburglar at 2020-11-21 07:31 PM | Reply


I certainly hope not.

#3 | Posted by LampLighter at 2020-11-21 08:40 PM | Reply

Another Democrat hoax.

#4 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-11-21 08:42 PM | Reply

Xenazoic Tales.

#5 | Posted by HanoverFist at 2020-11-23 08:29 PM | Reply

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