Climate Change-related Health Effects Tied to the Decline of Pollinators such as Bees and Butterflies

Effects of Decreases of Animal Pollinators on Human Nutrition and Global Health: a Modelling Analysis / by Samuel S Myers, et al. Lancet (Published online July 16, 2015 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(15)61085-6)
http://press.thelancet.com/pollinators.pdf
Effect of Increased Concentrations of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide on the Global Threat of Zinc Deficiency: a Modelling Study / by Samuel S Myers Lancet (Published online July 16, 2015 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(15)00093-5)
http://press.thelancet.com/CO2zinc.pdf

[AFP via Yahoo! Health] The unprecedented degradation of Earth’s natural resources coupled with climate change could reverse major gains in human health over the last 150 years, according to a sweeping scientific review published late Wednesday.

“We have been mortgaging the health of future generations to realize economic and development gains in the present,” said the report, written by 15 leading academics and published in the peer-reviewed medical journal The Lancet.

“By unsustainably exploiting nature’s resources, human civilization has flourished but now risks substantial health effects from the degradation of nature’s life support systems in the future.”

Climate change, ocean acidification, depleted water sources, polluted land, over-fishing, biodiversity loss — all unintended by-products of humanity’s drive to develop and prosper — “pose serious challenges to the global health gains of the past several decades,” especially in poorer nations, the 60-page report concludes…

“This is the first time that the global health community has come out in a concerted way to report that we are in real danger of undermining the core ecological systems that support human health,” said Samuel Myers, a scientist at Harvard University and one the authors.

A companion study on the worldwide decline of bees and other pollinators, led by Myers and also published in The Lancet, illustrates one way this might happen.

The dramatic decline of bees has already compromised the quantity and quality of many nutrient-rich crops that depend on the transfer of pollen to bear fruit…

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