Although 10,000 viruses have the potential to infect humans, many of them are now exclusively found in wild mammals. Climate change, according to US researchers in Nature, could change that.
When the ground temperature rises too high, species migrate. They travel with the viruses they carry. They can now jump to animal species they would never have encountered otherwise in their new habitat. Over the next 50 years, scientists estimate that global warming will produce more than 15,000 additional incidences of virus transmission between species.
According to them, this is not a good thing because it increases the risk for humans. There is a greater possibility of encountering them and harmful alterations with more jumping viruses.
The research looked at how the habitats of over 3,000 mammalian species will alter in a warmer world. Scientists took into account the viruses carried by animals and the degree of species relatedness — viruses jump more easily between closely related species.