Some scientists warn that if the weather changes, it may result in animals doing things that they’re not currently doing. Those things may result in global pandemics.
Climate change may be to blame for the emergence and spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new study.
Global greenhouse gas emissions have made southern China a hotspot for the bats that were responsible for carrying the virus. There have been 104 million cases of Covid-19 in the world, with 2.27 million deaths.
“Climate change over the last century has made the habitat in the southern Chinese Yunnan province suitable for more bat species,” says Dr Robert Beyer, a researcher at the University of Cambridge’s Department of Zoology, in a statement. “Understanding how the global distribution of bat species has shifted as a result of climate change may be an important step in reconstructing the origin of the COVID-19 outbreak. As climate change altered habitats, species left some areas and moved into others – taking their viruses with them.
“This not only altered the regions where viruses are present,” he continues, “but most likely allowed for new interactions between animals and viruses, causing more harmful viruses to be transmitted or evolve.”
The forest is also home to pangolins, which are believed to have acted as intermediate hosts to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. The virus is likely to have jumped from bats to these animals, which were then sold at a wildlife market in Wuhan, where the initial human outbreak occurred.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused tremendous social and economic damage. Governments must seize the opportunity to reduce health risks from infectious diseases by taking decisive action to mitigate climate change,” says co-author Andrea Manica, a professor at Cambridge.
“The fact that climate change can accelerate the transmission of wildlife pathogens to humans should be an urgent wake-up call to reduce global emissions,” says Camilo Mora, a professor at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, who initiated the project.
If the weather isn’t exactly the same every day, unpredictable things may happen. We cannot allow unpredictability if we are to have a safe society where people don’t die.
It’s not just bats.
It’s also pangolins now, for some reason.
To be fair, pangolins are totally subversive critters that hate Progress, so they should have been killed before the pandemic anyways.