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Siberia in defrost mode as planet heats up.

- UNDATED FILE PHOTO - Siberian explorer Bernard Buigues stands near the tusks of a 23,000-year-old mammoth that rests in a block of ice 200 miles (320km) from the Russian city of Khatanga after it was unearthed recently, in this undated photograph. Buigues admitted that he had taken dramatic license in sticking the tusks into the side of the block of ice, to better show the discovery for the photograph, after, the tusks were removed from the frozen earth. Scientists on October 17 moved the 23,000-year-old creature by helicopter from the Siberian permafrost and transported it, virtually intact and still frozen, to a laboratory in Khatanga for study.

New York [US]:For hundreds of thousands of years, the Siberian permafrost has been a giant freezer for everything buried within it.

But global warming has put the frozen ground in defrost mode, and the tundra is now heating up twice as fast as the rest of the planet. “Permafrost is a silent ticking time bomb,” says Robert Spenc-er, an environmental scientist at Florida State University.

As it thaws, the dirt could release a litany of major environmental problems. Here is a list of issues that we can experience in the near future due to the thawing of the Permafrost.

1. Bacteria

Seventy-five years ago an anthrax outbreak in West Siberia felled herds of reindeer. In July those carcasses thawed and infected 23 humans, killing one.

2. Carbon

The remains of ancient grass, moss, and animals buried in permafrost add up to some 1,500 billion tons of carbon. Microbes munch on that reheated mulch, exhaling carbon dioxide that could further warm the atmosphere, which would melt even more permafrost and spur a runaway cycle of warm-ing.

3. Methane

In 2014 scientists began noticing massive craters popping up across Russia’s remote Yamal peninsu-la. As the ground gets warmer and thus wetter, bacteria produce more methane (which is 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere). Those pockets of gas build up underground and blast out of craters.

5. Mammoth tusks

Climate change unearths prehistoric bones by speeding up soil erosion rates. When that happens, profiteers swoop in for mammoth tusks. Since they’re legal and Elephant ivory is not, sellers just tell buyers it’s all Mammoth tusks. Hence, threatening the already endangered elephant population.

6. Viruses

In the past two years, French microbiologists have discovered two kinds of giant viruses buried deep within the Siberian permafrost. Those viruses were still infectious to amoebas. The researchers warn that there could be other, nastier viruses, like smallpox, lurking beneath the surface. (ANI)