They will bring their pathogens with them

Hoo boy – as if it weren’t terrifying enough already. Climate change–>more pandemics:

There will be at least 15,000 instances of viruses leaping between species over the next 50 years, with the climate crisis helping fuel a “potentially devastating” spread of disease that will imperil animals and people and risk further pandemics, researchers have warned.

As the planet heats up, many animal species will be forced to move into new areas to find suitable conditions. They will bring their parasites and pathogens with them, causing them to spread between species that haven’t interacted before. This will heighten the risk of what is called “zoonotic spillover”, where viruses transfer from animals to people, potentially triggering another pandemic of the magnitude of Covid-19.

And this will be in a world that’s already struggling with rising sea levels, failing crops, wildfires, mass migrations, lethal heatwaves, disappearing marine life…

“As the world changes, the face of disease will change too,” said Gregory Albery, an expert in disease ecology at Georgetown University and co-author of the paper, published in Nature. “This work provides more incontrovertible evidence that the coming decades will not only be hotter, but sicker.” …

Albery said that climate change is “shaking ecosystems to their core” and causing interactions between species that are already likely to be spreading viruses. He said that even drastic action to address global heating now won’t be enough to halt the risk of spillover events.

“This is happening, it’s not preventable even in the best case climate change scenarios and we need to put measures in place to build health infrastructure to protect animal and human populations,” he said.

We need to do so many things that we’re not doing.

H/t Mike Haubrich

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