What if Melting Ice releases all sorts of "old" bacteria?

Discussion in 'Global Warming' started by skip, May 15, 2007.

  1. skip

    skip Founder Administrator

    I've been wondering what would happen if all this melting ice from the Arctic Ocean to Antarctica releases bacteria or other non-beneficial life forms or viruses that haven't existed for millions of years on this planet?

    As the ice caps and glaciers melt, they go down to deeper strata that has been keep frozen for perhaps millions of years. All sorts of microscopic creatures that were alive then got frozen, and many can come back to life, it seems.

    Who knows what horrors might be released upon our planet that haven't been alive for millions of years?
  2. BigBoyPants

    BigBoyPants Member

    You can rest assured that it is nothing worse than what is already here.
  3. Eugene

    Eugene Senior Member

    what about teh dinosaurs?
  4. AncientHippie

    AncientHippie Hip Forums Supporter HipForums Supporter

    I bet someone said that before AIDS surfaced.
  5. skip

    skip Founder Administrator

    They say that what has unleashed a number of new diseases over the course of our lifetime has been the continued destruction of virgin forests. As we clearcut more remote areas where few humans have ever been, we release unknown strains of bacteria and viruses that no longer are kept in check by natural predators and seek new species nearby to infect. Since humans are the fresh meat, we become new hosts for ancient diseases like Ebola and HIV.

    So when the ice melts, Lord knows what we may be in for...

    Hey maybe some ancient dinosaur will re-awaken, a la Godzilla! That would be cool!
  6. Eugene

    Eugene Senior Member

    most viruses that we have to deal with today came from domesticated (or hunted) animals...
    tropical bacteria, although truly nasty in it's own right, it's so damn resistant to treatment.
  7. skip

    skip Founder Administrator

    It's quite likely that the CURES to these new diseases would be found in the ancient rainforests, where life has evolved to be resistant to it.

    But as we clearcut our rainforests, we lose the genetics that contain the cures to diseases new and old. So we are dooming ourselves once again with out selfishness and disregard for our environment.
  8. YankNBurn

    YankNBurn Owner

    Yes it would be interesting to see what could have been preserved. Lets face it a virus is a living thing, it obviously adapts to protect itself thus the new strings of chicken pox, measals ect. There has been research that even the aids virus has multiple strings or adaptations.

    Just think thru time a virus not seen in over 2000 years just pops back, would our systems have the ability to cure us or did we thru years of changes loose the ability??
  9. skip

    skip Founder Administrator

    I'm not too worried about 2,000 year old viruses and bacteria, but I am more concerned about 200,000 yr old life forms that were preserved in ice!

    Of course that 2,000 yr. old virus called Christianity is still plaguing us!
  10. Ludicrous

    Ludicrous Member

    The bacteria found in the ice will be the least of our worries... They probably prefer really cold environments anyway. Worry about the chemicals. Who knows what chemicals lie in wait, trapped in ice during some ancient natural disaster in large quantities, and the effect they might have on us once the ice melts and releases them. Spoooooky.
  11. Eugene

    Eugene Senior Member

    200,000 year old bacteria would probably be adapted to a world that hasn't existed in 200,000 years. I mean, if they were disease causing, the creatures that they affected have been dead for a long time. of course they might still affect some life forms that haven't really changed much in the past 200,000 years, like algae (the most dominent life form on the planet), so although i doubt that they'll attack us directly, they might cause problems....
    anybody ever heard about water bears, they're these tiny algae like creatures that when confronted with extreme heat or extreme could loose almost all the water in their bodies and hibernate, only to revive when conditions are better (some scientists think that they would be capable of space travel)...

    yeah, that dihydrogen monoxide is a real scary chemical....
  12. mark777

    mark777 Member

  13. skip

    skip Founder Administrator

    Well I can't believe how right I am...


    "US scientists discover new, potentially deadly bacteria".

    It should then be no surprise that the person who came down with this had traveled across the Peruvian Andes, where the few remaining glaciers are melting fast. Perhaps the woman drank or bathed in a glacial stream?

    Let's hope it's not easily passed around...

    What other bacteria are out there awaiting our discovery, which might start new plagues?
  14. mbworkrelated

    mbworkrelated Banned

    I think ice age age old viruses will be as deadly as the common cold.
    I do not worry about ice age age old life forms cuz they will be dead.
  15. skip

    skip Founder Administrator

    Where did you hear that (source?). There are virus that are so well designed that scientists now believe they could survive indefinitely in outer space.

    In fact if you bothered to read the article, this woman came down with symptoms similar to malaria and typhoid fever. Not the common cold at all.

    Of course whether it was actually an ice age old virus is another question.
  16. Samhain

    Samhain Lifetime Supporter Lifetime Supporter

    that would be cool, ice melting get it? :jester:
  17. mbworkrelated

    mbworkrelated Banned

    It was IMHO.
    Ok - not talking from the top of my head a even better story [than the one you unearthed] can be found.

    I was not responding to your last post. I was responding to the original post.

    Responding to your last post:
    The women did not come down with a symptoms from a ice age old virus.
    It was not from melted ice from hundreds of thousands of years ago.
    That was not in your article.

    It was a virus from a remote part of Peru - sure no doubt viruses not often passed on - are a worry.
    I think it resembled another virus that is treatable.
    Their are hundreds of viruses that are incurable that we know about and have not been locked in ice for thousands of years.
    There is also hundreds of viruses that are curable that have not been locked away in ice for thousands of years.

    So why should I not think a virus found in the ice will be no deadly than anything else we have had to contend with ?.

  18. mbworkrelated

    mbworkrelated Banned

    We do not actually need ''ancient cures'' from ''ancient forests''.
    I get your point but it is a bit melodramatic.
  19. mogarth456

    mogarth456 Member

    Well there are things you can do to help reduce the amount of harm you are causing the enviroment, you can do this by offsetting your carbon on websites such as; www.co2debt.com . On these sites you are able to prevent climate change by funding ethical reforestation projects. I personally found that www.co2debt.com was the best site for this because of their strong relationships with other non-profit organizations
  20. Uncle_Asshat

    Uncle_Asshat Banned

    I would love to know how these viruses & bacteria were able to survive trapped inside freezing ice, without any food or oxygen to maintain its survival for all those hundreds of thousands of years.

    Yes, even germs need something to sustain itself and will die without a host.

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