Alexandria, Va. — The last several decades have seen Arctic sea-ice minimums drop by more than half in area and more than three-quarters in volume. With current models predicting further reductions, scientists are calling it the "new normal" and are trying to grasp its implications — one of which is the occurrence of pathogens never before seen in the Arctic.
Ice is a major eco-barrier for pathogens, but with Arctic ice diminishing rapidly amid the changing climate, pathogens have an opportunity to move into new areas and spread disease as mammals increase their ranges and intermingle. The spread of pathogens into new areas is a pressing issue, scientists say.
Read more about the pathogens that are spreading and the risks they pose in the July issue of EARTH Magazine.
For more stories about the science of our planet, check out EARTH Magazine online or subscribe at http://www.earthmagazine.org. The July issue, now available on the digital newsstand, features stories on Arctic megafauna surviving on pollen-poor plants, new fieldwork revealing that the well-known volcanic eruption type of "Ultraplinian" may not actually be a separate type of eruption, and the latest research being revealed by the Mars rovers, Curiosity and the orbiters, plus much, much more.
Keep up to date with the latest happenings in Earth, energy and environment news with EARTH magazine online at: http://www.earthmagazine.org/. Published by the American Geosciences Institute, EARTH is your source for the science behind the headlines.
The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of 49 geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 250,000 geologists, geophysicists and other earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in the profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society's use of resources, resiliency to natural hazards, and interaction with the environment.
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