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A warming world is unhealthy for everyone

By Marco Magrini ~ Geographical

Marco Magrini finds that a warming world also means a more unhealthy one, not just for the planet itself, but for those of us living on it

What’s bad for the planet is usually bad for human health. In other words, the current warming trends don’t spell good news for the well-being of our species… or for many others.

There are exceptions. Insects will thrive as the warmer temperatures increase their metabolic and reproductive rates, as well as their appetite. Not only will this encourage the spread of Zika, West Nile and Chikungunya viruses carried by mosquitoes, but also tick-borne Lyme disease which is already on the rise. According to a paper recently published in Science, insects in the future are expected to devour a much higher percentage of crops than they do at present – around five to 20 per cent.

Meanwhile, a team of Harvard scientists has calculated that, under the CO2 concentration expected by mid-century, crops will carry less zinc, iron and proteins, casting the shadows of massive nutrient and micronutrient deficiencies, at least in poorer countries.

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