The Stream, September 8: Climate Change Could Kill a Third of All Global Parasites by 2070

The Global Rundown

Climate change could eradicate a third of the world’s parasites by 2070, according to new research. Deadly Hurricane Irma makes landfall on several Caribbean islands and continues toward Florida. Rebuilding infrastructure in flood-stricken Peru will cost nearly $8 billion. Inadequate sanitation fuels a hookworm epidemic in the southern United States. A “flash drought,” which began unexpectedly this summer, is causing forest fires and crop failures in Montana and the Dakotas.

“It’s a total loss for me. There’s nothing to harvest.” –Rick Kirn, a Montana farmer, in reference to crop failure caused by the “flash drought” that has gripped parts of the northwestern United States in recent months. Montana and the Dakotas took the brunt of the unexpected dry spell and are now dealing with wildfires as well as withered crops. March through July were the third-driest five months on record since 1895 in North Dakota. The Guardian

By The Numbers

34 percent Proportion of residents in Lowndes County, Alabama who tested positive for traces of hookworm. Commonly associated with extreme poverty, hookworm is an intestinal parasite that was thought to have been eradicated from the United States several decades ago. In fact, hookworm remains rampant in areas of the southern U.S. due to inadequate sanitation and exposure to raw sewage. The Guardian

In context: Hookworm infections and sanitation failures plague rural Alabama.

162 Number of people who died during flooding in Peru earlier this year. The floods took place after a warming of the Pacific Ocean caused an unusually severe rainy season. Rebuilding post-flood infrastructure will cost an estimated $7.92 billion. Reuters

In context: Heavy rains unleash mudslides, destruction in Peru.

Science, Studies, And Reports

A new analysis of global parasites revealed that climate change could wipe out a third of all parasites in the next 50 years. Using a collection of 20 million parasites kept at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History in the U.S., scientists mapped and modeled the future of hundreds of parasite types. Widespread parasite extinction could cause massive disruption to the world’s ecosystems. The Guardian

On The Radar

Hurricane Irma continued its rampage through the Caribbean, devastating Barbuda and the Turks and Caicos Islands. In Puerto Rico, nearly a million households are without electricity. The storm is expected to hit the Bahamas and Cuba next, and make landfall in Florida and Georgia beginning Saturday evening. The New York Times