Melting glaciers in Tibet release 1,000 unknown species of microbes

Près de 1.000 microbes ont été découverts dans les glaciers du plateau tibétain. © Maygutyak, Adobe Stock

Chinese scientists have discovered thousands of microbes, bacteria and viruses trapped in the glaciers of the Tibetan Plateau. Melting snow will gradually release these thousands of years old microorganisms.

Le Plateau of Tibet Considered the third pole with 46,000 glaciers: it includes The third largest density of snow After the north and south poles of the world. The surface of glaciers is far from devoid of life and contains many different species. bacteriaof someMushroom or even Archaea. Sess Microorganisms Glaciers play an important role in the environment. A team of Chinese scientists found 968 different species of microbes in this environment. These microorganisms live in extreme conditions: freezing temperatures, high levels of solar radiation, and virtually no food sources. They have the ability to freeze and thaw depending on the temperature. Chinese scientists are currently a Research projectentitled ” Catalogue Genomes etc Genoa Tibetan Glacier » (TG2G), destined to complement the discovery of new organisms as research progresses.

80 percent of Tibetan glaciers are melting

With an area of ​​2.5 million square kilometers, the Tibetan Plateau is the main source of water supply for the Asian cities bordering it. The so-called “Asian water tower” is warming three times faster than the global average. According to the World Meteorological Organization« Most of the Tibetan Plateau saw a decrease in snowfall days between 1980 and 2016, with nearly half of the area seeing an average decrease of 2 days/year, and some areas more than 4 days. Climate change has already caused 80% of the plateau’s glaciers to shrink.

See also  The newly discovered triassic lizard floats underwater to pick up prey

Scientists believe that it is necessary to catalog the micro-organisms of these glaciers in order to assess the consequences and possible problems. the source ice, and therefore with the proliferation of these microorganisms. The team has already sequenced 3,241 genomes from 21 glaciers between 2016 and 2020. About 82% of the genomes were new species, of which 11% were from the same glacier and 10% were found across all glaciers. These glaciers are true “recorders” of past life, Because they trap microbes that are 10,000 years old which can spring back to life when conditions are favorable. In 2021, Another study Chinese scientists have identified 33 viruses (including 28 unknown ones) trapped on the Gulia Ice Shelf in Tibet. Some of these viruses found were estimated to be over 15,000 years old.

Microbes, viruses, carbon and methane are released by global warming

how Germs, viruses and bacteria Do mushrooms freeze in ice? According to Chinese researchers, these viruses mainly come from plants and the soil in which they are grown. The dust from this soil 10,000 or 15,000 years ago is trapped in the ice sheets, in large quantities. Carbon And methane: 12 million tons of carbon locked up in Tibetan ice. The melting of the ice is related to this global warming A multiple danger is therefore presented globally, already in progress: the spread of these in the atmosphere Greenhouse gas This will again increase the heat, but also these microbes lands and Tibetan water.

Interested in what you just read?

See also  The motor power is off, know the cause and solution
Written By
More from Jake Pearson
These insects kill six termites with a single toxin
There are termites on every continent of the planet except Antarctica. These...
Read More
Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.