Scientists Estimate Several New Virus Transmissions from Bats Due to Climate Change

Published on: 29 April 2022 06:05 PM
by KnowESG

According to scientists, by 2070, there will be 15,000 viral transmissions between different species, mostly because bats will be moving to new places in a hotter climate.

Scientists estimates say many animal species will be forced to migrate to new areas as the climate warms, bringing their parasites and pathogens with them, "raising the likelihood of developing infectious illnesses by crossing from animals to people in the next 50 years."

Some species will come into contact with each other for the first time as they travel. Tropical Africa and Southeast Asia, on the other hand, will be the most at risk.

The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature, is one of the first to look at how global shifts could produce "future hotspots" for virus exchange and developing diseases.

Georgetown University researchers, led by Colin Carlson, modelled how mammals would shift if the planet heated by 2 degrees Celsius by 2070, causing their existing habitats to become too hot.

There will be at least 15,000 new species-to-species virus transfers this year, predominantly by bats, which often carry viruses that are very likely to spread to humans.

World Health Organization (WHO) says that the new coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan in 2020 was likely spread from a bat to people through another species.

To avoid the worst climatic breakdown, scientists and governments across the globe believe that global warming should be limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, although some impacts will still occur. However, if current policies are used, the planet will warm up by about 1.9 degrees Celsius, which is a lot.

The goal of last year's COP26 climate summit in Glasgow was to "keep 1.5 alive." That means encouraging governments to review and speed up their climate action plans before the next meeting, COP27, in Egypt in November, which will be even more significant.

Prior to the COP21 climate agreement in 2014, the globe was on track to warm by nearly 4 degrees.