Report says climate change could increase spread of nasty pests

Excerpted from GrandForksHerald.COM  ( Posted: 04/01/2010 )

DULUTH — Nasty species such as deer ticks and poison ivy may proliferate inside their current range and spread into new areas as carbon dioxide levels increase and climate change continues into the future.

That’s the finding of a new report released Thursday by the National Wildlife Federation — just in time to push support for climate change legislation expected soon in the U.S. Senate. The U.S. House already has passed climate legislation.

While climate change skeptics say the current warming trend may be natural and not caused by humans and that many crops and species may benefit in a warming world, the new report shows “some of the nastiest and most unpleasant species we have may benefit the most,” said Doug Inkley, lead scientist for the National Wildlife Federation.

Deer ticks, for example, already endemic in parts of the Northland, are projected to move north and west as warmer winters fail to slow their march. The ticks can spread Lyme disease.

And poison ivy, the plant that causes itchy rashes to picnickers and campers, is expected to grow faster and even cause more itching. Experiments that exposed poison ivy plants to carbon dioxide levels expected in the future showed the plants nearly doubled their growth thanks to increased C02.

“And they got more toxic,” Inkley said in a national press conference Thursday.

Witnesses did not report seeing DeAngelis with weapons during the heists.

For the complete article:


~ by Rob on April 2, 2010.

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