Fevered Planet: Climate’s Impact on Infectious Disease

As temperatures rise, ecosystems are undergoing significant changes, leading to the arrival of new life in Arctic waters and shifts in the geography of diseases affecting plants, animals, and humans.

Fevered Planet: Climate's Impact on Infectious Disease
Fevered Planet: Climate’s Impact on Infectious Disease

The melting ice and warming seas and air have attracted minke, bottlenose, fin, and sperm whales to the Arctic, while grizzly bears, white-tailed deer, coyotes, and other species expand into boreal forests to the south. The article highlights the impact of climate change on Alaska’s ecosystem, where winter warming has caused sea ice to break up earlier, affecting phytoplankton, fish, and bird populations. Additionally, the warmer climate facilitates the movement of pathogens between hosts, increasing the risk of pandemics and emerging diseases. The changing conditions create opportunities for new species to colonize and evolve, posing threats to human, animal, and plant populations. Researchers emphasize that climate change acts as a multiplier, accelerating the emergence and spread of diseases. The interconnected nature of climate change and disease underscores the need for comprehensive approaches to address the complex challenges ahead.

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