Popular Science

You don’t actually want these parasites to go extinct

Climate change won't just impact charismatic critters.
Parasite of human body

It's not the paradise you might expect

Deposit photos

Humans might fantasize about a world without ticks, fleas or giant kidney worms. But parasites connect food webs and serve vital purposes in every ecosystem. And scientists aren't really sure what would happen if we lost them.

Biologist was cooking pancakes with a parasitologist friend when they started talking about the effects that climate change will have on parasites. She thought it would be impossible to track, a zoologist at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, and 16 other scientists from eight different countries. They created a massive database of over 100,000 kinds of parasites, then whittled down their study to around 50,000 species. By tracking how these blood-suckers, stomach-dwellers and kidney-eaters are moving and disappearing as the climate changes, Carlson and his team predicted how parasite populations will shift as this process continues. a third of all parasites face a risk of extinction.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Popular Science

Popular Science2 min readScience
Why Rivers Rise Long After A Hurricane Is Gone
Members of the U.S. Coast Guard help civilians into a boat during a flood post-Florence Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Stephen Kelly Days after Hurricane Florence tore through the Carolinas, torrential waters are still wreaking havoc on the
Popular Science4 min readWellness
We Already Know Air Pollution Hurts Your Heart—and It Might Also Hurt Your Brain
Traffic is a common source of nasty air pollutants like PM2.5, nitrogen dioxide, and ozone. Pexels The air you breathe could have long-term impacts on your brain. Exposure to high levels of air pollution might contribute to the development of dementi
Popular Science2 min readTech
Slipping Into This ‘Skin’ Turns Any Object Into A Robot
New 'Robotic Skins' technology developed by Yale researchers allows users to turn everyday objects into robots. Yale University When you think of robots, usually you think of a 3D being that manipulates the world around it. But Yale University resear