It's official, the Earth is getting warmer, and that means sea levels are rising, and Arctic ice is melting, but there are also several strange side effects being felt in America and around the globe.
Rising global temperatures are being blamed for zombie anthrax reanimated from a dead reindeer corpse, thawing snowmelt that's leaving nuclear waste exposed to the environment, and much more, climate scientist Liam Colgan told the USAToday.
"Two generations ago, people were interring waste in different areas of the world and now climate change is modifying those sites."This June marked 14 consecutive months of record-breaking temperatures, and the areas around the North and South poles are undergoing the most change. The rising temperatures are melting layers of permafrost in Alaska and around the globe, leading to some surprising side effects.
Nuclear WasteThe snow that once buried a top-secret U.S. base in northern Greenland is now melting, which is leaving nuclear waste, radioactive coolant, PCB's, and raw sewage exposed to the environment.Camp Century was built in 1959 and used as a top-secret site for testing nuclear missiles. It was one of five such bases built on the ice sheets of northern Greenland. When it was decommissioned in 1967, the military left several tons of hazardous waste at the base thinking they'd be buried under hundreds of feet of snow, but now that's all changing thanks to climate change.
Zombie AnthraxIn Siberia, a reindeer carcass infected with deadly anthrax was uncovered after the snow that buried it melted away in an unusual Russian heat wave. The first outbreak of the deadly disease in Russia since 1941 has killed two people, sickened 90 others, and it is responsible for the deaths of more than 2,000 reindeer. Russia has deployed 200 specialists to quarantine the area and inoculate the indigenous herdsmen.
Vanishing PermafrostMuch of Alaska is covered in permafrost, slabs of ice, and sediment, but now, the rising temperatures are causing it to melt, which is causing problems for the roads and buildings built on top of it. The Alaska Highway runs some 1,390 miles from Canada to U.S. territory and has been a vital supply route for seven decades, but now, the rising temperatures are causing deep cracks to develop in the roadway, engineer Jeff Currey told Bloomberg.
"It's the single biggest geotechnical problem we have. The Romans built roads 2,000 years ago that people are still using. On the other hand, we have built roads that within a year or two, without any maintenance, look like a roller coaster because they are built over thaw-unstable permafrost."
Zika VirusRising global temperatures associated with climate change are increasing the length of mosquito season, which is increasing the risk of transmitting the Zika virus. Climate Central analyzed the number of days that are perfect for mosquitos to spread Zika and found an increase by at least half a month or more.
"Among the 200 largest metro areas in the U.S., 10 cities have seen their seasons grow by a month or more over this relatively short period of time."
Slimy Green BeachesBeaches in Florida and California have become infected with a strange blue-green algae bloom that thrives in warm, calm water. On the West Coast, the algae blooms can be seen running from the Central California Coast north to Washington and inland in the San Luis Reservoir, Lake Shasta, and Silverwood Lake. On the East Coast, the guacamole-thick algae may be the new normal, environmental advocate Evan Miller told the National Geographic.
"This is absolutely the worst. We've never seen algae so thick. You can see it from space."Rising temperatures associated with climate change have also been linked to diminished forest growth, increased flooding, and exploding craters in Siberia.
[Photo by Arthur Max/AP Images]