Researchers warned Thursday that global warming could fuel future pandemics by increasing the risk that viruses will jump into humans from other animals.


As temperatures increase, spillover events between species are more likely.

AFP via Getty Images

As the world gets warmer, many animals will be forced to find new places to live, taking any parasites and pathogens with them.

The researchers looked at how climate change could affect the geographic range of mammal species and how it might affect the transmission of viruses between species.

Climate change will cause at least 15,000 new instances of viruses to cross between species by , according to the researchers.

The researchers said that the events will mostly be driven by bats, which can travel large distances, are likely to carry pathogens capable of infecting humans, and are widely believed to be the source of Covid-19.

Dr. Gregory Albery, one of the study's lead authors and a disease ecologist at Georgetown University, said it is likely that the new viruses will affect species.

The researchers warned that efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions may not be enough to stave off the increased transmission of viruses between species.

The researchers warned of the impact of Viruses jumping between different species. They pointed to 3,700 different animals that could come face to face with the 13 species that have never been exposed to the disease. Chimpanzees and gorillas have been devastated by the effects of the Ebola epidemic, which has torn through other primate populations. The researchers said it would be useful to study other animals in future work, such as the salamander which is fighting a plague that has wiped out at least 90 species. It will be important to understand the impact of climate change on birds and the pathogens they carry. The most common viruses capable of crossing over into humans are found in birds.

Big Number

10,000. The researchers said how many viruses are capable of infecting humans there are. The majority of these are in the wild. As issues like habitat destruction, the wildlife trade and industrialized agriculture bring animals into closer contact with humans, spillover events have become more frequent.

Climate change increases the risk of transmission.

Stave Off An Era Of Pandemics.

The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance.

Live updates on the coronaviruses.