Global Warming Could Trigger Insect Boom

By | November 6, 2006

Global Warming Could Trigger Insect Boom

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. – livesci

Great, the next generation will have something to eat when this generation of humans eats every fish in the ocean over the next 48 years.

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