Does the Covid-19 pandemic prove true a scientific prediction that once global warming thaws permafrost, spores of deadly diseases will be released in the air?
Climate studies conducted by scientists decades ago arrived at a prediction that if global warming intensifies, the thawing of thick layers of permafrost in Siberia, Alaska, Greenland and northern Canada, will become inevitable.
The permafrost in those regions are permanently frozen layers of soil that thickened continuously. The thickness allows the fossils of ancient plants and animals that perished during the Ice Age and buried underneath, to remain undisturbed for thousands of years.
Today, large areas of thick permafrosts in those regions have been thawing rapidly. In 2019, the National Geographic came out with a report that in Siberia, the permafrost in a cliff called Duvanny Yar had warmed and thawed. A visiting ecologist found that the crumbling soil of the cliff had spilled fossils of mammoth bones, horse femurs, bison jaws and other ancient matters into the sea.
This National Geographic report brought us back to an earlier Scientific American publication that gave news about a puzzling deadly disease that came around in a remote area in Siberia during the summer of 2016. The disease had claimed the lives of 20 people living in the remote area and more than 2,300 reindeers inhabiting nearby forests.
The cause of the infectious disease was a bacterium known as bacillus anthracis, from which the deadly contagion known as Anthrax was derived. The source of the bacillus anthracis bacteria was the large amount of fossils coming out of the thawed permafrost located in the region.
Scientific Views on the Re-Emergence of Infectious Diseases in the Modern World
Astrologers usually make predictions of plagues using the ancient Babylonian astrologers’ method of interpreting zodiac stars in relation to past events. The underlying belief of ancient Babylonian astrology is that everything that happens on Earth has happened before, and that it is bound to happen again at a predetermined time in the future.
There is some semblance of truth to this theory since modern-day scientists have established the fact that our planet’s functions and systems usually work as a cycle.
The re-emergence of bacteria and viruses that cause infectious diseases is seemingly a part of those cycles.
Yet the world is also seeing the emergence of novel pathogens, like the Covid-19 infectious disease that communities all over the world are battling today.
According to infectious disease researchers Mark Woolhouse and Eleanor Gaunt of the University of Edinburgh, the world can be expected to produce new infectious-disease causing pathogens at an estimated rate of three species per year, because of the ongoing global ecological changes. They drew this general conclusion based on a study that involved creating a catalogue of nearly 1,400 species of novel human pathogens and their ecological origins.