Bummer: A Warmer World Will Destroy Biodiversity Through Infectious Disease

by William Teach | August 2, 2013 9:36 am

It must have been really warm as the Black Death rolled through Europe and Asia…oh, wait, it was cooler and wetter during that time period. Anyhow, here’s super-Warmist Bryan Walsh at Time[1] (via Tom Nelson[2])

The venerable Science magazine has a special issue out today on climate change. Some of the content is free, and it’s well worth checking out. That includes an article on one of the most important and perplexing areas in global warming research: the possible connection between a changing climate and a growing threat from infectious disease.

It’s been known for awhile that warming temperatures could help certain diseases. Malaria, which kills about 650,000 people a year, thrives in the hot and humid areas where the Anopheles mosquito can live (WT-good thing the 1st World nations essentially banned the use of DDT). As the climate warms, the territory where the mosquito and the malaria parasite will be able to live will likely expand, putting more people at risk. Already dengue fever, another mosquito-borne tropical disease, has reestablished itself in the Florida Keys, where it was wiped out decades ago. Tropical diseases will loom that much larger in a warmer world, as host-parasite cycles accelerate. In the Arctic, which is warming faster than any other region on the planet, higher temperatures are allowing parasites like the lungworm, which afflicts muskoxen, to develop faster and be transmitted over longer periods. (snip)

Climate change is likely to impact infectious disease just as it will impact other areas of life. Human beings–especially relatively rich ones–will muddle through, adapting to a warmer, more parasite-ridden world. Plants and animals, though, won’t be able to adapt as fast, or perhaps at all. Good thing we don’t need them. Right?

I wonder how life came into being before, considering that for a good chunk of the planet’s history it was much warmer. In fact, tropical regions[3], which tend to be pretty warm, have the greatest biodiversity. The greatest threat to biodiversity is actually cooler, wetter conditions. But, life finds a way, it isn’t going to freak out like Warmists over a tiny increase in the average temperature.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove[4]. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach[5].

  1. Time: http://science.time.com/2013/08/02/infectious-disease-could-be-more-common-in-a-warmer-world-especially-for-plants-and-animals/
  2. Tom Nelson: http://www.tomnelson.blogspot.com/
  3. tropical regions: http://education.nationalgeographic.com/education/encyclopedia/biodiversity/?ar_a=1
  4. Pirate’s Cove: http://www.thepiratescove.us/
  5. @WilliamTeach: http://twitter.com/WilliamTeach

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