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Climate change could drive a third of parasites to extinction by 2070

As many as one in three parasites could become extinct as a result of climate change by 2070, new research suggests.

This may sound like good news, but the loss of parasites could destabilise many of the world’s ecosystems, the lead author tells Carbon Brief. Parasites play a critical role in maintaining food webs and, in their absence, a diverse range of animals could be threatened with extinction.

Rising global temperatures could also drive parasites into cooler regions, such as the UK and Canada, the study finds, which will have a significant, but unpredictable, effect on the diseases they carry.

Richard Droker

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