• Climate change driving spread of crop pests

    pests pests

    Climate change is helping pests and diseases that attack crops to spread around the world, a study suggests.

     

    Researchers from the universities of Exeter and Oxford have found crop pests are moving at an average of 3km (two miles) a year.

     

    The team said they were heading towards the north and south poles, and were establishing in areas that were once to cold for them to live in.

     

    The research is published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

     

    Currently, it is estimated that between 10% and 16% of the world's crops are lost to disease outbreaks. The researchers warn that rising global temperatures could make the problem worse.

     

    Dr Dan Bebber, the lead author of the study from the University of Exeter, said: "Global food security is one of the major challenges we are going to face over the next few decades.

     

    "We really don't want to be losing any more of our crops than is absolutely necessary to pests and pathogens."

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