PanaTimes

Saturday, Feb 04, 2023

Climate change increases risk of new viruses emerging: Research

Climate change increases risk of new viruses emerging: Research

Likely hot spots include the Sahel, Ethiopian Highlands, Rift Valley, India, eastern China, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

Climate change will drive animals towards cooler areas where their first encounters with other species will vastly increase the risk of new viruses infecting humans, researchers warned on Thursday.

There are currently at least 10,000 viruses “circulating silently” among wild mammals that have the capacity to cross over into humans, mostly in the depths of tropical forests.

As rising temperatures force those mammals to abandon their native habitats, they will meet other species for the first time, creating at least 15,000 new instances of viruses jumping between animals by 2070, according to a study published in the journal Nature.

“We have demonstrated a novel and potentially devastating mechanism for disease emergence that could threaten the health of animal populations in the future, which will most likely have ramifications for our health too,” said study co-author Gregory Albery, a disease ecologist at Georgetown University.

“This work provides us with more incontrovertible evidence that the coming decades will not only be hotter, but sicker,” Albery said.

The study, five years in the making, looked at 3,139 species of mammals, modelling how their movements would change under a range of global warming scenarios, then analysing how viral transmission would be affected.

Researchers found that new contacts between different mammals would effectively double, with first encounters occurring everywhere in the world, but particularly concentrated in tropical Africa and Southeast Asia.


The threat of bats


Global warming will also cause those first contacts to take place in more highly populated areas, where people “are likely to be vulnerable, and some viruses will be able to spread globally from any of these population centres”, according to the research.

Likely hot spots include the Sahel, the Ethiopian Highlands and the Rift Valley, India, eastern China, Indonesia, the Philippines and some European population centres, the study found.

The research was completed just weeks before the start of the coronavirus pandemic, but emphasised the unique threat posed by bats, in which COVID-19 is believed to have first emerged. As the only mammal that can fly, bats can travel far greater distances than their land-bound brethren, spreading disease as they go.

Bats are believed to already be on the move, and the study found they accounted for a large majority of potential first encounters with other mammals, mostly in Southeast Asia.


Even if the world does massively and quickly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions – a scenario that still seems some way off – it might not help for this problem.

The modelling showed that the mildest climate change scenarios could lead to more cross-species transmission than the worst-case scenarios, because slower warming gives the animals more time to travel.


‘Not preventable’


The researchers also tried to work out when the first encounters between species could start happening, expecting it would be later this century.

But “surprisingly” their projections found that most first contacts would be between 2011 and 2040, steadily increasing from there.

“This is happening. It is 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,” Albery said.

The researchers emphasised that while they had focused on mammals, other animals could harbour zoonotic viruses – the name for viruses that jump from animals to humans.

They called for further research on the threat posed by birds, amphibians and even marine mammals, as melting sea ice allows them to mingle more.

The study’s co-author Colin Carlson, a global change biologist also at Georgetown, said climate change is “creating innumerable hot spots of future zoonotic risk – or present-day zoonotic risk – right in our backyard”.

“We have to acknowledge that climate change is going to be the biggest upstream driver of disease emergence,” Carlson said, “and we have to build health systems that are ready for that.”

Comments

Oh ya 280 days ago
All those years of study down the drain became they believe that bats started covid19 and it has been proven it was started in a lab in China funded by Dr BS and his buddy Peter. But the goverments need to keep you scared so they can control you. A good example of control is look at the number of brain dead that are driving alone in their cars with masks. Stupid people that are easy to control.

Newsletter

Related Articles

PanaTimes
Close
0:00
0:00
Charlie Munger, calls for a ban on cryptocurrencies in the US, following China's lead
EU found a way to use frozen Russian funds
First generation unopened iPhone set to fetch more than $50,000 at auction.
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT - US Memphis Police murdering innocent Tyre Nichols
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said he will block Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell from serving on the House Intelligence Committee
Almost 30% of professionals say they've tried ChatGPT at work
Interpol seeks woman who ran elaborate exam cheating scam in Singapore
What is ChatGPT?
Bill Gates is ‘very optimistic’ about the future: ‘Better to be born 20 years from now...than any time in the past’
Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
Germany confirms it will provide Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Opinion | Israel’s Supreme Court Claims a Veto on Democracy
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
Who’s Threatening Israeli Democracy?
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
China's first population drop in six decades
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
Lisa Marie Presley, singer and daughter of Elvis, dies aged 54
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
France has banned the online sale of paracetamol until February, citing ongoing supply issues
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
Will Canada ever become a real democracy?
Hong Kong property brokerages slash payrolls in choppy market
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
Effect of EU sanctions on Moscow is ‘less than zero’ – Belgian MEP
Coinbase to Pay $100 Million in Settlement With New York Regulator
FTX assets worth $3.5bn held by Bahamas securities regulator
A Republican congressman-elect is under investigation in New York after he admitted he lied about his education and work experience.
Brazilian football legend Pele, arguably the greatest player ever, has died at the age of 82.
Hong Kong to scrap almost all its Covid rules
EU calls screening of travellers from China unjustified
US imposes Covid testing for visitors from China
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Addresses Joint Session of Congress - FULL SPEECH
Where is Rishi? Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's excuses about the UK's economic challenges just don't make sense
Former FTX CEO Bankman-Fried finally arrested in Bahamas after U.S. files charges
Corruption works: House Financial Services Chair Waters doesn't plan to subpoena her donor, Sam Bankman-Fried, to testify at hearing on FTX collapse
Ronaldo's new contract...
Prince William's godmother resigns honorary royal role after exposing her/their racism
Tax fraud verdict again exposes illusion of Trump the master businessman
Tax fraud verdict again exposes illusion of Trump the master businessman.
×