Science » Planet Earth
Author`s name Alex Naumov

Insects to rule the Earth soon because of global warming

A rise in the Earth’s temperature could lead to an increase in the number of insects worldwide, with potentially dire consequences for humans, a new study suggests.

New research shows that insect species living in warmer areas are more likely to undergo rapid population growth because they have higher metabolic rates and reproduce more frequently. The finding has scientists concerned that global warming could give rise to more fast-growing insect populations and that we could see a spike in the number of six-legged critters.

The consequences could be more serious than just a few extra bug bites each summer. “If they’re crop species, we could count on needing to use more pesticides and it could be very costly,” said Melanie Frazier, a doctoral student at the University of Washington and lead author of the study.

Insect-borne diseases are also a worry. Malaria, Lyme Disease and a host of others rely on insect vectors to spread among humans, and a swell in their populations could mean more infections.

Already, scientists have observed a widening of malarial zones with new cases appearing in previously unaffected areas. The change is thought to be due to rising temperatures and an expansion of areas habitable for mosquitoes. The new research, detailed in the October issue of The American Naturalist, shows rising temperatures would mean insects would not only spread out, but also multiply more quickly.

Still, Frazier says it’s too soon to predict which species will adapt and which might even face extinction. She and her colleagues looked at 65 insect species and found a correlation between warm climes and population growth across the board – but, she cautioned, the scientists have no way of predicting which species will eventually adapt to new, warmer areas.

We won’t have to wait long to find out. Insects adapt quickly, so we will likely see changes within our lifetime, Frazier says.

Source: LiveScience

Prepared by Alexander Timoshik
Pravda.ru

Discuss this article on Pravda.ru English Forum

On December 10, 1948 the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, its thirty articles enshrining basic and fundamental rights guaranteeing dignity of the human person and equality for all, regardless of race, color, creed or gender. A pipe dream?

Human Rights Day: Let us hang our heads in shame
Comments
Putin makes first comment on Trump's Jerusalem decision
Turkish President Erdogan issues ultimatum to Washington and Brussels
Turkish President Erdogan issues ultimatum to Washington and Brussels
Turkish President Erdogan issues ultimatum to Washington and Brussels
Turkish President Erdogan issues ultimatum to Washington and Brussels
Turkish President Erdogan issues ultimatum to Washington and Brussels
Putin makes first comment on Trump's Jerusalem decision
Putin: Russian servicemen return home from Syria as victors
Putin: Russian servicemen return home from Syria as victors
Putin makes first comment on Trump's Jerusalem decision
Turkish President Erdogan issues ultimatum to Washington and Brussels
Ugly Christmas tree in Kiev's center shocks Ukrainians
Pentagon can not accept Russia's victory over terrorists in Syria
Putin makes first comment on Trump's Jerusalem decision
Russian general says allegations of his involvement in MH17 crash are stupid
Viktor Yanukovych speaks about Maidan snipers and Donbas civil war
Viktor Yanukovych speaks about Maidan snipers and Donbas civil war
Mikhail Saakashvili's bumpy ride in politics: From chewing his tie to climbing on rooftop
USA looking for reason to see nuclear weapons in action
USA looking for reason to see nuclear weapons in action
USA looking for reason to see nuclear weapons in action