Rising temperatures are helping ticks and their hosts carry a deadly bacterium to new regions.
In a June 15, 2018 article by Lucy Goodchild Van Hilten discusses the connection between climate change and the spread of Lyme disease and other vector-borne diseases with Dr. Dominick DellaSala, Chief Scientist of the Geos Institute.
“Climate change is not an environmental problem,” he said. “It’s human health, economic impact, social dislocation and social injustice, with environment thrown in there too. This is the multiplicity of impacts we’re at the beginning phase of seeing, even before we hit the 2˚C change, which is on the horizon.
Read the full article at Alternet.org
Over 220 international scientists called on the British Columbia government to halt the rapacious logging of temperate rainforests in the province. BC coastal and inland rainforests are globally rare and strategic to Canada’s commitments to the Paris climate change accord. Read the full letter here.
Old Growth BC rainforests are among the most carbon dense forests on Earth, playing a strategic role in Canada’s commitments to the historic Paris climate change accord. (Photo credit: Conservation North)
Click for the June 28, 2018 press release.
- Interview: Early Edition with Stephen Quinn (Vancouver)
- Interview: On the Island with Gregor Craigie (Vancouver Island)
- Interview: Daybreak South with Chris Walker (Kelowna and Interior BC)
- Interview: Daybreak North with Carolina de Ryk (Prince Rupert, Prince George, Northern BC) – segment begins at 1 hour, 22 minutes
- Article: 223 international scientists urge B.C. to protect provincial rainforests (CBC, June 28, 2018)
- Article: If an old-growth tree falls in a forest, does it make political hay? (Jack Knox for the Times-Colonist, June 29, 2018)
- Op-Ed: Call for action on B.C.’s old-growth rainforests (Dominick DellaSala, Barbara Zimmerman, and Andy MacKinnon, The Province, July 4, 2018)
- Article: B.C. loggers aim to transition away from harvesting old growth — but it could take 90 years (Jon Hernandez, CBC News, July 8, 2018)
- Op-Ed: Our rainforests need action urgently (Jens Weiting, Times-Colonist, July 11, 2018)
You can also learn more about this and other temperate rainforests in “Temperate and Boreal Rainforests of the World” by Dr. Dominick DellaSala.
Watch and listen to two recent talks given by Dr. Dominick DellaSala at the University of British Columbia (UNBC) Natural Resources and Environmental Studies Institute. Videos are available on the UNBC website, or click below to go directly to Dominick’s talks.
Go to Yale Climate Connections to listen to commentary by Dominick DellaSala on how his daughter contracted Lyme disease from ticks, which may be spreading because of climate change.
Yale Climate Connections consists of 90-second stories about how people are responding to our warming world.
Lyme on the Rise, 1st Place Adult College 2017 Witnessing Change Video Competition from Climate Cost Project on Vimeo.
Umair Irfan, E&E News reporter
Published: Friday, July 28, 2017
The eight-legged bloodsuckers that spread Lyme disease are crawling farther north and infecting more people due to climate change, scientists report.
Rising average temperatures are making more parts of North America hospitable to the Ixodesticks that carry Lyme disease.
The infection’s range is expected to move northward into Canada by 250 to 500 kilometers (155 to 310 miles) by 2050, and the season for the disease may start up to two weeks earlier than it does now. Health officials report similar patterns in Europe.
And human-caused climate change is a major contributing factor, scientists say.
In a recent Jefferson Public Radio interview, Dr. Dominick DellaSala (co-editor of The Ecological Importance of Mixed- Severity Fires and editor-in-chief of the Encyclopedia of the Anthropocene) discusses how climate change aids the spread of Lyme disease.
In the interview, he states that the animals that normally carry ticks (deer, mice, etc.) are surviving through the warmer winters coupled by the lack of top predators. He goes on to say with the warmer weather, the ticks could start making way to more northern parts of the world like Canada and Scandinavia thus putting more people at risk to the disease.
You can listen to his interview here.
Climate change is NOT an environmental problem – new research has increasingly pointed to a link between climate change and the spread of vector-borne diseases like Lyme disease. The decision by the Trump administration to pull out of the Paris climate change accords is only going to increase the spread of diseases associated with a warming planet.
Related article: “How climate change helped Lyme disease invade America” (Vox)
Download the factsheet: Lyme Disease Spreading Due to Climate Change and Human Activities, by Dominick DellaSala, Ph.D.
By Dominick DellaSala
This Earth Day, I am giving thanks for the lingering effects of our cold-wet winter and the beautiful snow-capped mountains. Reservoirs are filling up, fisher-people are casting away in streams with hopes of bountiful catches, and kayakers are bucking the rapids again. We should all enjoy this wet winter that used to be the “norm,” while remembering that we have much work to do to make the climate safe for our children.
I would like to share my family’s story because it concerns all parents, hikers, hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts in the region.
In an open letter to the U.S. Senate and President Obama, 276 scientists expressed concern that current legislation in both the House and Senate would use fear and misunderstanding about wildland fires to suspend federal environmental protections to expedite logging and clearcutting of both post-fire wildlife habitat and unburned old forests on National Forest lands, removing most of the structure a forest ecosystem needs to properly function.
The proposed House and Senate legislation addresses the borrowing of funds from other programs to cover costs of fire suppression. However, both bills would increase funding for suppression of mostly backcountry fires in remote areas, and neither would focus on, or prioritize, protection of rural communities. The best available science has shown that effective home protection from wildland fire depends on “defensible space” work within approximately 100 feet of individual structures, and improving the fire resistance of the homes themselves. Unfortunately, neither bill recognizes the ecological costs of further suppressing fire in fire-adapted ecosystems.
View the letter