The world has already been through some horrible pandemics. We can mention the Spanish Flu from 1918, the Bubonic Plague, or even the ongoing COVID pandemic. Even if humanity has a lot of medical ways to tackle such threats now, who knows what other diseases might emerge in the future?
According to The Guardian, researchers now believe that the climate crisis has the potential to fuel a possible spread of disease that could lead to new pandemics. They also warn that in the next 50 years, there will be thousands of instances of viruses that will pass from one species to another.
Blame it on global warming
It’s not necessarily to be a genius to figure out how the whole thing could work. As global warming happens, some animal species won’t be fans of the ‘new game.’ Thus, they’ll move on to other areas but also carrying ‘unwanted guests,’ such as their parasites. After interacting with other species, those parasites and pathogens will start doing their dirty work on the new hosts. Ultimately, humans could also suffer from viruses coming from animals, as it has happened so many times already. There you have the stage set for another pandemic that could start!
Gregory Albery, who’s an expert in disease ecology from the Georgetown University and also a co-author of the paper, explained as The Guardian quotes:
As the world changes, the face of disease will change too,
This work provides more incontrovertible evidence that the coming decades will not only be hotter, but sicker.
We have demonstrated a novel and potentially devastating mechanism for disease emergence that could threaten the health of animals in the future and will likely have ramifications for us, too.
The same scientist even believes that it might be too late to act now. He also said, as the same source quotes:
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.
The new paper was published in Nature.