According to a recent study, climate change will cause hundreds of new viruses to spread across animal species by 2070, increasing the danger of developing infectious illnesses spreading from animals to people.
This is especially true for Africa and Asia, where fatal diseases such as the flu, HIV, Ebola, and coronavirus have been transmitted from people to animals or vice versa in recent decades, according to the Associated Press.
Employing AI Analysis
Researchers built a computer to look at how over 3,000 mammal species may travel and spread viruses over the next 50 years if the planet heats by 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), as recent research suggests is likely.
They discovered that cross-species viral transmission occurs over 4,000 times in mammals alone.
The research did not cover birds or marine creatures.
According to researchers, not all viruses will transmit to people or become pandemics on the size of the coronavirus. Still, the number of cross-species viruses raises the likelihood of human infection.
Struggling With Global Crisis
As the globe grapples with what to do about both, the report, which was published in Nature, emphasized two global crises: climate change and infectious disease proliferation.
The previous study has looked at how deforestation, extinction, and wildlife trading contribute to the spread of animal-human illness.
Still, the researchers said there is less information on how climate change can affect disease transmission.
“We don’t talk about climate a lot in the context of zoonoses,” said research co-author Colin Carlson, an assistant professor of biology at Georgetown University. “Our research… brings together the world’s two most serious challenges.”