Climate Crisis Is Increasing By The Sicker Livestock


Climate change is a significant global problem that is affecting the ecosystem and biodiversity of the planet. It is known to us that changing climate is responsible for the severity of many infectious diseases all over the world. But many of us do not know that infectious diseases are also contributors to global warming and environmental issues.




On accord to Aimee Classen, a professor of ecology, ‘‘the vicious cycle between climate impacts on disease and disease impacts on climate is striking’’. One research conducted by Professor Vanessa Ezenwa (an ecology expert) explains the role of parasites in the production of methane by livestock.


Also Read: How Global Warming is Affecting Agriculture


Methane is one of the most harmful greenhouse gases that are accountable for the increase in the average temperature of our planet. In the last decade, there was a rapid increase in the atmospheric concentrations of methane gas. Researchers believe that half of this increase was caused by livestock. The animals when suffering from infectious diseases produce more methane than normal healthy animals.




Many researchers including scientists, veterinarians, ecologists, and health experts joined together to examine the impacts of parasites on climate and the ecosphere. Amanda Koltz, the prominent researcher of this project said that the interaction between parasites and host animals plays a significant role in the formation of physiology, behaviour, and populace dynamics of the hosts – these impacts he said have widespread consequences on the ecosystem.


In their research, they studied ruminant animals like cows, goats, and sheep. These animals play a significant role in the global food supply. They also host a lot of pathogens and parasite animals. From their close study on those animals, researchers found out that the animals that were infected with parasitic intestinal worms were the causes of almost thirty-three percent more methane gas than the animals that were not infected.


We all know that infection has an adverse effect on the growth of animals. Infected animals generally take more time to grow. People usually sell full-grown animals for the amount of their meat. As a result of their slow growth, the lifespans of those animals increase. This increases the total amount of methane gas emitted in the atmosphere by those animals.


The study of those researchers also revealed that the cow and other dairy cattle that suffer from bacterial infections such as mastitis release almost eight percent more methane gas per kg of milk than uninfected dairy animals.


Since 1960 with their increasing meat consumption humans have heightened the climate impacts a lot. According to a report by the United States Food and Agriculture Organization, from the year 2017 to 2050 the production of global livestock will grow by nearly 2.7% per year. At the same time, methane production will grow by almost 20%. The report also added that over the same period parasitic worm infection could increase the emission by up to 82%. The study thus clearly reveals the pernicious climate-disease cycle that is one great example of the interrelation between infectious diseases and climate issues.


Also Read: Debunking Myths About Climate Change

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