Ice is melting around the world and glaciers are disappearing. Water, which has been solid for thousands and even millions of years, is being released into streams, rivers, lakes and oceans. Embedded in this new fluid water, and now being released, are ancient microbes whose effects on today's organisms and ecosystems is unknown and unpredictable. These long sleeping microbes are becoming physiologically active and may accelerate global climate change. This book explores the emergence of these microbes. The implications for terrestrial life and the life that might exist elsewhere in the universe are explored.
Key Selling Points:
- Explores the role of long frozen ancient microbes will have when released due to global warming
- Describes how ice preserves microbes and microbial genomes for thousands or millions of years
- Reviews work done on permafrost microbiology
- Identifies potential health hazards and environmental risks
- Examines implications for the search for extraterrestrial life.