In 2015, a team of scientists from the US and China traveled to Tibet to collect samples of the Earth’s oldest glacier.
In early January, they published a report detailing how 28 new virus groups were detected on 15.000-year-old ice. Scientists have warned that climate change could cause ancient viruses to become a problem in the modern world.
The team drilled 50 meters down into the glacier to grab two ice cores. They were subjected to a three-step deactivation protocol.
To determine the microbes present in the samples, the researchers used microbiological methods.
The methods revealed 33 groups of viruses, including 28 ancient viruses that scientists had never seen before.
In a published paper of Futurism.com, the research team emphasized that climate change is now threatening both our ability to fully catalog those small life forms and our ability to stay safe from the dangers they cause.
The smallest possible evil is that we will lose archives of germs and viruses from which we can learn more about past Earth climate regimes. But at worst, this ice melt can release pathogens into the environment.
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