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We are all wondering where all these new diseases and new forms of existing diseases are coming from, right? Coronavirus being the biggest threat, for now. The climate is changing everywhere but not as fast as it is changing on the poles. The Arctic or North Polar Region is melting twice as fast as the global average. The ice is shrinking very quickly and becoming unstable at a very alarming pace. This poses a bigger threat on us than we are thinking. There is a thick region of frozen soil that covers around 25% of northern hemisphere.

Melting permafrost is becoming creepy. Roadways built on top of permafrost are becoming wavy. This retreating ice is exposing plants that haven't seen light in over 45,000 years. Thawing permafrost is also a time bomb: There’s more carbon stored in the permafrost than in the atmosphere. Melting it risks accelerating global warming even further. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has released a 1,000-plus page report amassing all the best evidence on how the icy regions of the world and the oceans are threatened by climate change. Permafrost temperatures keep rising, and the report paints a grim future. Even if the world manages to hit the IPCC target of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius by 2100, around 25 percent of the permafrost near the surface could be lost, the report finds. Changes to the permafrost, among other changes in the ocean and cryosphere, are expected to be irreversible, the report states.

In a more severe scenario where the world continues to increase emissions and we hit 5 degrees of warming, around 69 percent could be lost. That would drastically change the landscape of the Arctic and potentially set off a further acceleration of global warming.

This is the first part of a 5 episode series on climate change and new diseases. You can check them all out using this link.


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