A new study finds that the creatures that will suffer most on Earth are the parasites, and that's actually not a good thing.
A new study out of the University of California claims that global warming caused by climate change will wipe out a third of the world’s parasites by 2070, and before you rejoice, scientists say that could have detrimental effects on the planet. Specifically, climate change would wreak havoc on tapeworms, fleas, ticks, lice, and other similar creatures, which could potentially upset the balance of the Earth’s ecosystem.
Scientists at the university spent a year analyzing 20 million parasites that were in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of Natural History. Their findings indicate that no creature on Earth may be more threatened than parasites, but trying to convince the public that this is a negative will undoubtedly be a challenge.
However, what scientists know about parasites is that they control populations, keep energy moving, and do lots of other subtle things that make our planet what it is today. Losing a third of them would cause big changes to the food chain and to life in general.
“The Earth’s changing climate could cause the extinction of up to a third of its parasite species by 2070, according to a global analysis reported Sept. 6 in the journal Science Advances,” reads the statement from the Smithsonian. “Parasite loss could dramatically disrupt ecosystems, and the new study suggests that they are one of the most threatened groups of life on Earth.
“Parasites have an admittedly bad reputation. The diverse group of organisms includes tapeworms, roundworms, ticks, lice, fleas and other pests–most of which are best known for causing disease in humans, livestock and other animals. But parasites play important roles in ecosystems. They help control wildlife populations and keep energy flowing through food chains.”