Global Warming

Climate-change catastrophe

Douglas Allen/Istockphoto

Douglas Allen/Istockphoto

Global warming is likely to expand the distribution of disease-carrying mosquitoes and ticks

Jörg-Rainer Zimmermann, 7 Mar 13
The recent study entitled “Climate Change, Impacts and Vulnerability in Europe 2012”, published by the European Environment Agency in Copenhagen, has found that people in temperate climates are going to start experiencing nature as a much more hostile place to live than previously imagined.

The study shows that a fifth of all habitats and one in ten European species are at risk from global warming. Experts from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research in Leipzig, who were involved in producing the paper, believe that the climate is changing so fast that many species simply can’t keep up. By the end of the 21st century, the habitats of many species will have moved several hundred kilometres to the north. This means that a quarter of all butterfly species could have lost more than 95 percent of their habitat by 2080.

If the world is three degrees warmer in 2100 than it is now, species of breeding birds will see their range shrink by a fifth and move 550 kilometres to the northeast. Insects, on the other hand, could stand to benefit. Global warming is likely to expand the distribution of disease-carrying mosquitoes and ticks – and this will directly affect human health. The experts say that extreme weather events such as heatwaves, floods and droughts would also occur more frequently, putting countries at risk of unforeseeable economic damage.

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