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Climate climate change and viruses  do threats converge  | Upload General

Climate Change And Viruses: Do Threats Converge?

by: Sharai Hoekema
climate change and viruses  do threats converge  | Upload

The COVID-19 pandemic has managed to do something that years and years of dire warnings about potentially disastrous climate change consequences failed to do: change our society in a drastically life-altering and, by the looks of it, indefinite manner. We are in it for the long run, that is the message that is continuously put out by government leaders all around the world.

COVID-19 Wants To Slow Us Down

This is the message that should have been conveyed for global warming. The world should have cut back on its industry, transport, and emissions in order to prevent the drastic temperature increase and a corresponding rise in sea levels. Instead, it is a flu-like virus that has done the trick.

Then again, the virus might have been, in a way, the world’s way of slowing us down. If we are not going to do it ourselves, nature will do it for us - or that is a thought that seems to be going around. The fact is that the virus has led to a rather drastic drop in pollution all around the world. Cleaner air, cleaner water, and thriving ecosystems have been a surprising side-effect of this disastrous disease.

map air-pollution China
Satellite images have shown a dramatic decline in pollution levels over China, which is 'at least partly' due to an economic slowdown prompted by the coronavirus, US space agency Nasa says.

People seem to realize that there is another way of living, one that does not put as much of a strain on the world and our scarce resources. And perhaps, just perhaps, they might be urged to change their lives even more so once they realize that there might be another catch: in the future, climate change might be leading to the emergence and intensification of viruses much like SARS-CoV-2.

Recommended: Coronavirus: Symptoms Flu And Climate Change

Climate Change And Viruses Emerging

The link between viruses emerging and climate has been long established. Already back in the times of the Roman Empire, hot and dry summer weather would prompt aristocrats to move to cooler places, often at higher altitudes, to avoid falling ill. Social distancing in its original form.

With temperatures around the world slated to increase by up to 1.5 degrees Celsius before 2050, we are sure in for a disease-ridden treat. According to the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infection Diseases, it must be recognized that any changes in average temperatures, humidity levels, vegetation quality, and the inherent changes in ecosystems will lead to behavioral changes in arthropods. And as luck has it, arthropods - including insects - are very good at transmitting diseases.

arthopod
Arthropods have a lot of legs. It’s easy to want to kill them when you find them in your house because they look creepy

Recommended: Virus, Bacteria, Fungi: Tiny Organisms Will Save Us Globally

Climate Change: Air Pollution And Illness Susceptibility

It is not just the diseases themselves being transmitted more efficiently. We, as humans, will become more susceptible to it as well - as things such as pollution and bad air quality are really bad for us. Our respiratory tracts are impacted and make us more vulnerable to diseases such as COVID-19 and its extended family of brothers and sisters.

During an outbreak of infectious respiratory diseases, it has been found that areas with high levels of air pollution would see many more disease-related deaths. Living in an area with bad air quality could potentially even double your odds of dying. 

factory, smoke, flats
Residents of Chelyabinsk are expressing worry over industrial pollution after heavy smog covered the city for weeks

Recommended: Lockdown Caused By The Coronavirus: A Relieve For Our Planet

World Health Organisation Research

The World Health Organisation has seen those numbers as well, and are now investigating the effect of climate change on current and future disease emergences. A recently released report identified four ways in which climate change could potentially influence the spread of viral diseases.


                 What's the correlation between cold temperatures and viruses? A WakeMed specialist explains

First, there are insects. Research has shown that up to 30 percent of all diseases that emerged in the past decade were transmitted by critters such as mosquitoes, flies, birds, fleas, and lice. As explained before, climate change will disrupt their habitats, causing them to change their life cycles and areas of influence. Ticks, for instance, are rapidly expanding into new areas, resulting in a soaring number of Lyme diseases and related illnesses. 

Recommended: Climate Change: Ticks And Oak Processionary Caterpillars

Then, there is the risk that more diseases will be transmitted from animals to humans, as we destroy their precious habitats, raze their forests, and impact the natural environment in other ways. As we degrade the animals’ habitats, more viruses will be bred that can infect us as well. Estimates are that up to 75% of all new diseases that emerged in recent decades were in fact animal-borne. This definitely seems to hold up for COVID-19, with most experts agreeing that it originated at a so-called wet market in China, where all kinds of live animals - including pangolins, bats, and crocodiles - were sold. 

And with the world heading towards the 1.5 degrees Celsius increase in temperatures, it is only a matter of time before the next virus jumps from animal to man. We best let this be a wake-up call and use it to change our ways for good.

Before you go!

Recommended: Delay Climate Change With Submarines Which Produce Icebergs

Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below.
We try to respond the same day.

Like to write your own article about the climate?
Click on 'Register' or push the button 'Write An Article' on the 'HomePage'

Climate Change And Viruses: Do Threats Converge?

The COVID-19 pandemic has managed to do something that years and years of dire warnings about potentially disastrous climate change consequences failed to do: change our society in a drastically life-altering and, by the looks of it, indefinite manner. We are in it for the long run, that is the message that is continuously put out by government leaders all around the world. COVID-19 Wants To Slow Us Down This is the message that should have been conveyed for global warming. The world should have cut back on its industry, transport, and emissions in order to prevent the drastic temperature increase and a corresponding rise in sea levels. Instead, it is a flu-like virus that has done the trick. Then again, the virus might have been, in a way, the world’s way of slowing us down. If we are not going to do it ourselves, nature will do it for us - or that is a thought that seems to be going around. The fact is that the virus has led to a rather drastic drop in pollution all around the world. Cleaner air, cleaner water, and thriving ecosystems have been a surprising side-effect of this disastrous disease. Satellite images have shown a dramatic decline in pollution levels over China, which is 'at least partly' due to an economic slowdown prompted by the coronavirus, US space agency Nasa says. People seem to realize that there is another way of living, one that does not put as much of a strain on the world and our scarce resources. And perhaps, just perhaps, they might be urged to change their lives even more so once they realize that there might be another catch: in the future, climate change might be leading to the emergence and intensification of viruses much like SARS-CoV-2. Recommended:  Coronavirus: Symptoms Flu And Climate Change Climate Change And Viruses Emerging The link between viruses emerging and climate has been long established. Already back in the times of the Roman Empire, hot and dry summer weather would prompt aristocrats to move to cooler places, often at higher altitudes, to avoid falling ill. Social distancing in its original form. With temperatures around the world slated to increase by up to 1.5 degrees Celsius before 2050, we are sure in for a disease-ridden treat. According to the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infection Diseases, it must be recognized that any changes in average temperatures, humidity levels, vegetation quality, and the inherent changes in ecosystems will lead to behavioral changes in arthropods. And as luck has it, arthropods - including insects - are very good at transmitting diseases. Arthropods have a lot of legs. It’s easy to want to kill them when you find them in your house because they look creepy Recommended:  Virus, Bacteria, Fungi: Tiny Organisms Will Save Us Globally Climate Change: Air Pollution And Illness Susceptibility It is not just the diseases themselves being transmitted more efficiently. We, as humans, will become more susceptible to it as well - as things such as pollution and bad air quality are really bad for us. Our respiratory tracts are impacted and make us more vulnerable to diseases such as COVID-19 and its extended family of brothers and sisters. During an outbreak of infectious respiratory diseases, it has been found that areas with high levels of air pollution would see many more disease-related deaths. Living in an area with bad air quality could potentially even double your odds of dying.   Residents of Chelyabinsk are expressing worry over industrial pollution after heavy smog covered the city for weeks Recommended:  Lockdown Caused By The Coronavirus: A Relieve For Our Planet World Health Organisation Research The World Health Organisation has seen those numbers as well, and are now investigating the effect of climate change on current and future disease emergences. A recently released report identified four ways in which climate change could potentially influence the spread of viral diseases. {youtube}                  What's the correlation between cold temperatures and viruses? A WakeMed specialist explains First, there are insects. Research has shown that up to 30 percent of all diseases that emerged in the past decade were transmitted by critters such as mosquitoes, flies, birds, fleas, and lice. As explained before, climate change will disrupt their habitats, causing them to change their life cycles and areas of influence. Ticks, for instance, are rapidly expanding into new areas, resulting in a soaring number of Lyme diseases and related illnesses.   Recommended:  Climate Change: Ticks And Oak Processionary Caterpillars Then, there is the risk that more diseases will be transmitted from animals to humans, as we destroy their precious habitats, raze their forests, and impact the natural environment in other ways. As we degrade the animals’ habitats, more viruses will be bred that can infect us as well. Estimates are that up to 75% of all new diseases that emerged in recent decades were in fact animal-borne. This definitely seems to hold up for COVID-19, with most experts agreeing that it originated at a so-called wet market in China, where all kinds of live animals - including pangolins, bats, and crocodiles - were sold.   And with the world heading towards the 1.5 degrees Celsius increase in temperatures, it is only a matter of time before the next virus jumps from animal to man. We best let this be a wake-up call and use it to change our ways for good. Before you go! Recommended:  Delay Climate Change With Submarines Which Produce Icebergs Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your own article about the climate? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
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