..."Melting permafrost, suspected by Russia of being behind an unprecedented fuel spill that has polluted huge stretches of Arctic rivers, is a time bomb threatening health and the environment, and risks speeding up global warming."....
The thawing of the permafrost also threatens to unlock disease-causing bacteria and viruses long trapped in the ice.
There have already been some cases of this happening.
...In 2016 a child died in Russia's far northern Siberia in an outbreak of anthrax that scientists said seemed to have come from the corpses of infected reindeers buried 70 years before but uncovered by melting permafrost.
.....Released from the ice, the anthrax seems to have been passed to grazing herds.
....Scientists have also warned that other dormant pathogens entombed in frozen soil may be roused by global warming, such as from old smallpox graves.
...In 2014 scientists revived a giant but harmless virus, dubbed Pithovirus sibericum, that had been locked in the Siberian permafrost for more than 30,000 years."....