A study warns that melting Arctic ice could unleash 100,000 tons of pathogens

WILL THE NEXT PANDEMIC FROM GLACIER? Study warns that melting Arctic ice could release 100,000 tons of harmful pathogens into rivers and lakes

  • Experts used a climate model to predict the impact of a moderate rise in carbon dioxide emissions
  • More than 100,000 tons of microbes can be released from glaciers onto Earth
  • This includes both potentially harmful and beneficial microbes

While it is widely believed that the virus behind the Covid-19 pandemic came from an animal, a new study warns that the next pandemic could come from a glacier.

Researchers have warned that more than 100,000 tons of microbes could be released as the world’s glaciers melt.

This includes both harmful and beneficial elements, according to a team from Aberystwyth University.

Researchers have warned that more than 100,000 tons of microbes could be released as the world’s glaciers melt

The Arctic is warming nearly four times faster than the rest of the world

The Arctic is warming four times faster than the Earth’s average.

The researchers analyzed multiple data sets from the likes of NASA and the Met Office on Arctic Circle temperatures between 1979 and 2021.

They found that a large proportion of the Arctic Ocean warmed by an average of 1.35 degrees Fahrenheit (0.75 degrees Celsius) per decade over this period, nearly four times faster than the global average.

Previous studies suggest that the Arctic is warming either two, two or three times faster than the average global warming.

These estimates have been commonly reported in the literature and the media, but they are a “gross underestimation,” even though they are based on “modern” computer models, the authors say.

Temperatures in the Arctic are rising faster than the rest of the world due to the loss of sea ice.

As the bright, reflective ice melts, it gives way to a darker ocean. This amplifies warming because the ocean surface absorbs more heat from the sun than the surface of snow and ice.

In their study, the researchers examined the surface meltwater of eight glaciers across Europe and North America, and two sites in western Greenland.

Using a climate model, the researchers estimated the effect of a moderate rise in carbon emissions.

Their results revealed that more than 100,000 tons of microbes could be released from the glacier and enter the wider environment.

For context, this equates to an average of 0.65 million tons per year of microbes entering rivers, lakes, fjords and oceans across the Northern Hemisphere over the next 80 years.

Dr Tristram Irvine-Finn, from the University of Aberystwyth, said: “Melting ice caps host active microbial communities that contribute to the melt and the biogeochemical cycle, feeding downstream ecosystems. But these communities are still poorly understood.

Over the coming decades, predictions of “peak water” from mountain glaciers on Earth mean that we need to improve our understanding of the state and fate of ecosystems at the surface of glaciers.

With a better understanding of that picture, we can better predict the effects of climate change on ice surfaces and watershed biochemistry.

The researchers worryingly say the effect of more ice melt could be “significant”.

Dr Arwyn Edwards, from Aberystwyth University, added: “These important findings build on much of our previous research here at Aberystwyth.”

The number of microbes released depends closely on how quickly glaciers are melting, and therefore how much we continue to warm the planet.

But the mass of microbes released is colossal even with a moderate increase in temperature.

While these microbes fertilize downstream environments, some may also be harmful.

Using a climate model, the researchers estimated the effect of a moderate rise in carbon emissions.  Their results revealed that more than 100,000 tons of microbes could be released from the glacier and enter the wider environment.

Using a climate model, the researchers estimated the effect of a moderate rise in carbon emissions. Their results revealed that more than 100,000 tons of microbes could be released from the glacier and enter the wider environment.

The study comes shortly after researchers from the Finnish Meteorological Institute in Helsinki discovered that the Arctic is warming four times faster than the planet’s average.

The researchers analyzed multiple data sets from the likes of NASA and the Met Office on Arctic Circle temperatures between 1979 and 2021.

They found that a large proportion of the Arctic Ocean warmed by an average of 1.35 degrees Fahrenheit (0.75 degrees Celsius) per decade over this period, nearly four times faster than the global average.

Previous studies indicate that the Arctic is warming either two, two or three times faster than the average global warming.

These estimates have been commonly reported in the literature and the media, but they are a “gross underestimation,” even though they are based on “modern” computer models, the authors say.

Temperatures in the Arctic are rising faster than the rest of the world due to the loss of sea ice.

As the bright, reflective ice melts, it gives way to a darker ocean. This amplifies the warming trend because the ocean surface absorbs more heat from the sun than the surface of snow and ice.

What are the effects of low sea ice levels?

The amount of sea ice in the Arctic peaks in March as winter approaches.

NASA recently announced that the maximum amount of sea ice this year was low, after three other low-level measurements taken in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

This can lead to a number of negative impacts affecting climate, weather patterns, plant and animal life, and indigenous human communities.

NASA says the amount of sea ice in the Arctic is declining, and that has serious consequences

NASA says the amount of sea ice in the Arctic is declining, and that has serious consequences

In addition, the disappearing ice could alter shipping routes and affect coastal erosion and ocean circulation.

‘The Arctic sea ice cap is still on a downward trend and this is linked to the ongoing warming in the Arctic,’ said NASA researcher Claire Parkinson.

It’s a two-way street: warming means that less ice will form and more ice will melt, but also, because there is less ice, less incoming solar radiation is reflected off the sun, and that contributes to heating.’

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