Global warming to sicken farm animals

File:Map of molecular epidemiology of bluetongue virus in Europe.gif

The molecular epidemiology of bluetongue virus (BTV) since 1998: routes of introduction of different serotypes and individual virus strains. Image: Wikipedia

Farm animal disease to increase with climate change

Researchers looked at changes in the behaviour of bluetongue – a viral disease of cattle and sheep – from the 1960s to the present day, as well as what could happen to the transmission of the virus 40 years into the future. They found, for the first time, that an outbreak of a disease could be explained by changes to the climate.

In Europe, more than 80,000 outbreaks of bluetongue were reported to the World Animal Health Organisation between 1998 and 2010, and millions of animals died as a result of the disease. Bluetongue was previously restricted to Africa and Asia, but its emergence in Europe is thought to be linked to increased temperatures, which allows the insects that carry the virus to spread to new regions and transmit the virus more effectively.

Researchers produced a mathematical model that explains how the risk of an outbreak of bluetongue virus in Europe changes under different climate conditions. The team examined the effect of past climate on the risk of the virus over the past 50 years to understand the specific triggers for disease outbreak over time and throughout geographical regions. This model was then driven forwards in time, using predictive climate models, to the year 2050, to show how the disease may react to future climate change.

Using these future projections, researchers found that in northern Europe there could be a 17% increase in incidence of the bluetongue virus, compared to 7% in southern regions, where it is already much warmer.

Professor Matthew Baylis, from the University’s Institute of Infection and Global Health, said: “Previous study suggests that climate change will alter global disease distribution, and although we have significant knowledge of the climate triggers for particular diseases, more research is needed to identify what we think might really happen in the future.

“We have been able to show that the past emergence of a disease can be explained, in both space and time, by changes to recent climate. These results reinforce the belief that future climate change will threaten our health and well-being by causing infection to spread. Looking forward, this could help inform decision making processes on preparing for disease outbreaks and reduce the huge economic impact that farm animal diseases can have on communities.”

The research is published in Proceedings of the Royal Society Interface.

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Notes to editors:

1. The University of Liverpool is a member of the Russell Group of leading research-intensive institutions in the UK. It attracts collaborative and contract research commissions from a wide range of national and international organisations valued at more than £110 million annually.

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103 thoughts on “Global warming to sicken farm animals

  1. “Researchers produced a mathematical model that explains ”

    Heck, I can create a mathematical model to make vanilla ice cream worth $1000 / lb.

  2. Lying with statistics again? I don’t know the real numbers, but obviously, 17% of 100 is not much compared to 7% of 10,000.

  3. “This model was then driven forwards in time, using predictive climate models, to the year 2050, to show how the disease may react to future climate change.

    Using these future projections, researchers found that in northern Europe there could be a 17% increase in incidence of the bluetongue virus, compared to 7% in southern regions, where it is already much warmer.”

    How does the uncertainty grow? Let me count the ways.
    1.) model with uncertainty was driven forwards assuming that the past was accurately hindcast.
    2.) The model used predictive models
    3.) The output was analyzed (by what?)
    4.) the result could be 17% (it might not be)
    5.) the assumed 17% was compared to where it has been hot for millenia
    6.) the climate is assumed to warm by default
    If the above resembles spitwad selection process or pick a card/any card you’re not alone.

  4. I wonder whether they factored in other mechanisms of disease spread such as cattle or brought directly from areas where the virus is common to Europe.

  5. “Researchers produced a mathematical model”
    That’s all you need to know that this is most likely B.S.

  6. I’m SHOCKED simply SHOCKED to find out warm weather diseases happen in warm weather areas… next they’ll have a study claiming that hypothermia increases in risk during cold weather.

  7. Then there is this. “more research is needed to identify what we think might really happen in the future.” Couldn’t forget to mention that more funding is needed.

  8. “Researchers produced a mathematical model that explains how the risk of an outbreak of bluetongue virus in Europe changes under different climate conditions. The team examined the effect of past climate on the risk of the virus over the past 50 years to understand the specific triggers for disease outbreak over time and throughout geographical regions. This model was then driven forwards in time, using predictive climate models, to the year 2050, to show how the disease may react to future climate change.”

    Remove the word ‘explains’. Mathematical models cannot explain anything unless you are studying the distribution of colored balls in urns.

    Remove the oxymoron “predictive climate models.” Models cannot predict. Models are analytic tools only and cannot do the synthetic work that is done by physical hypotheses.

    Once again, people have “fitted” a model to a map and the historical spread of diseases and believe that they have predicted something. They are dead wrong.

  9. But wait a second guys – it is well know that all sorts of specifies will expand/contract their range based on climate conditions. It would seem to me that being aware/smart about the risks is only prudent.

  10. “Researchers produced a mathematical model that explains”

    I stopped reading there. I didn’t even bother to finish the sentence. When will people learn, models do not equal the real world. I can foresee these same people saying “but the model says the economy should improve right now” or “but the model says that I am sleepy right now”.

  11. So, essentially, now African countries will have to worry of getting the UK mad cow disease due to UK modeled global warming as well, since it’s a two way street. I wonder why they don’t fuzz about that though.

  12. Moisture is also an important factor in the breeding of the midge vectors.

    Vaccines are available.

    DDT anyone?

  13. This is akin to saying frostbite will be spread by climate change. I would suggest that disease vector control is the issue, not climate. We saw that with the recent EVH1 outbreak in North America – disease was spread around North America from one event at one location because we readily transport animals thousands of miles carrying diseases with them. It was a purely a case of contact transmission. But if they can get more funding to study viral vector control by suggesting it is climate …

  14. This is good but my all time favorite ” It is caused by climate change ” was Danny Glover saying the Hatian earthquake was caused by global warming.

  15. “[...] but its emergence in Europe is thought to be linked to increased temperatures, [...]“

    Just guessing, eh?

  16. It could also be as easily explained by the wide spread use of color televisions which also happened in that very time frame. Next you’ll hear cell towers are responsible for the die-off of honey bees and for depleting ozone which leads directly to the human cause of the silent sun. These people are crazy. I’ll take a flatulent cow over the mind numbing lot of them.

  17. If you create model which produces palms at the poles, you can suggest that the worldwide population of Yak will suffer.

    However we have a ways to go to warm Greenland to the degree where you can raise 100,000 sheep and goats and several thousand cattle, which the Viking were able to do (without hay airlifted from outside) in a single district of one of their two major settlements.

    http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/obj/s4/f2/dsk2/ftp04/mq22551.pdf

    Until the brave people who are currently trying to farm in Greenland can match the Viking, we perhaps should not blame warming for the spread of “blue tongue.” Instead we should blame our modern ability to import and export livestock thousands of miles in hours. A Brahmin Bull can see the sun rise in India and see it set in England.

    By the way, that is the definition of a college study funded by wealthy Alarmists: “Brahmin
    Bull.”

  18. ‘More research is needed to identify what we think might really happen in the future’ -ie. we want more cash to spend on our hypotheses. Words and phrases like ‘is thought to be linked to’, ‘could’, ‘may’, ‘might’ belong with the belief that ‘pigs might fly.’ They COULD just as easily apply to the opposite of what the AGWers want us to believe.

  19. This reminds me of the earlier claim that “climate change” would spread malaria to areas where it never existed before. Unfortunately for the alarmists, in most of those areas malaria did exist in historical times until eradicated by vector control, not CO2 emission control. *sigh*

    So I’m going to worry about this latest cry of “wolf” only as long as I…uh, what was I saying?

  20. Wayne Delbeke says:
    June 29, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    “I would suggest that disease vector control is the issue, not climate.”

    Indeed. Look at the map. Climate change is going to carry livestock across the Mediterranean, apparently. Or will the 50 million climate refugees be mostly cattle and sheep, or will they be bringing them?

    Stories – I mean “research” – like this makes my tongue turn blue.

  21. Wow, with such logic (lack there of in reality) ice cream causes shark attacks. Someone published this CRAP! Wow

  22. They found, for the first time, that an outbreak of a disease could be explained by changes to the climate.
    =====================================================================
    Oh, my. What passes for an education these days? So, let me get this straight. They found that some diseases thrive better in different environments than others. Hmmm. And they found this out for the first time????? WTF is wrong with these people? Did their parents give them stupid injections after birth or did mom take some pills she wasn’t suppose to during the pregnancy?

    I was working as a psychiatric aide when the laws changed and we were informed they had the right to procreate…………..

  23. Hmmmmmm… What has changed in the last 50 years? The ‘climate’? Debatable…. (truly).

    How about the transport of raw materials, manufactured goods, services, flora, and fauna, including cattle and people between Africa and Europe? How about the dramatic growth of fast transportation methods between the 2, by land, sea, and air? How about the migrations of political, racial, and economic refugees from Africa to Europe? Wouldn’t these movements et.al. be logical vectors for transmission of all sorts of diseases, including lowly fungi?

    On a lighter note… If a giraffe contracted ‘blue tongue’ disease, how would you know?

  24. The god they worship is truly a weird one:

    Any organism that causes disease, pestilence and plague will thrive. The ones that don’t are tragically going to go extinct.

  25. Wayne Delbeke says:
    June 29, 2011 at 6:22 pm EVH1

    This was a case of folks transporting horses to Ogden, Utah from numerous states and then returning home. Almost as soon as the illness became known – it was stopped by shutting down shows, events, pleasure rides and so on. Members of our riding club skipped any events with visiting horses and rode only with horses known not to have been with any other horses except our own. After about 2 weeks all the state veterinarians issued “all clear” signals and horse folks resumed their normal activities.

    However, I can build a model with temperature inputs if you send enough money and most likely show, maybe, there is a high to middle chance . . .
    Oh, never mind.

  26. Those arrows look an awful lot like the patterns of human immigration from Africa to Europe. By a strange coincidence, the microbes have the same language groups and colonial relationships as humans!

  27. “Bluetongue was previously restricted to Africa and Asia, but its emergence in Europe is thought to be linked to increased temperatures, which allows the insects that carry the virus to spread to new regions and transmit the virus more effectively.”…..
    ==========
    A virus that kills its host is a failure, which will soon be changing its ways.
    Get used to “bugs” making inroads into new territories, the map looks like an aircraft flight route of the region.
    We already have to take off our shoes to board a plane, might as well disinfect them while we’re at it.

  28. Argh, well explained phenomena that has nothing to do with climate change.

    Bluetongue (and some closely related) virii (viruses if you prefer, I use virii but I am old and follow the rules I learned) used to be spread only by one species of midge which was pretty much confined to Africa (and this seems to have been limited by vegetation type not temperature), however sometime in the recent past it changed (mutated/evolved take you pick) enough so it can spread by a few more species of midge which exist throughout Europe. Also if this paper brings in the winter seasonality argument ( that winter kills off the virus) the 2001 outbreak in Serbia was caused by viri which had been dormant for at least two years of rather harsh winter.

    It seems like every other year someone tries to link the spread of Orbivirus in Europe to global warming. it has been going on for decades and been examined for decades, and there is no reason to link it to global warming. Are the reasons for the expansion to Europe perfectly understood, no, but the spread is happening independent of temperature.

  29. Is there anything on Earth that is not made worse by global warming?
    Rhetorical sarc off/

  30. FairPlay says:
    June 29, 2011 at 6:08 pm
    “But wait a second guys – it is well know that all sorts of specifies will expand/contract their range based on climate conditions. It would seem to me that being aware/smart about the risks is only prudent.”

    If you have no well-confirmed hypotheses then you have no science. They have none or they would not be using models. Just ask them if they can specify what facts on the ground would falsify their “predictive models.” They will not be able to say a thing. How do you falsify a model? There is no way.

  31. Now there is bullshit when you read it, “Bluetongue was previously restricted to Africa and Asia”.

    True that we had our first epidemic in the Netherlands in 2006, But on occasion bluetongue reared its head long before that, but only in very small numbers, Single cases most of the time. And farmers knew what to do in those times.

    Now knowing that the virus requires a rather high average temperature to develop itself it is easy to blame climate change, but than people have to explain how this can happen in the Netherlands where the average temperature is to low for the bluetongue virus?

    Or is there something else that helps the spread of the virus, we do tend to move large ammounts of lifestock around in Europe?

  32. Can’t be warming. Switzerland is wholly covered by glaciers, see white country in the graphic.

  33. This is the kind of crap that passes for biology these days. As a biologist, I am greatly offended at the loss of real science.

    There used to be standards in this field.

  34. Probably spread by researchers tracking it into new pristine environments to determine whether it had spread there yet. 1st visit: no. Second visit: yes. Must be global warmistas done it!

  35. I have the original of Dr. Benjamin Rush’s book “On Bilious Remitting Fever” aka yellow fever where he reports that they yellow fever epidemic of 1792 (book printed is 1793) spread as far north as Boston. Sure glad we had all that global warming to get rid of those disease infected mosquitoes so we do not have any tropical diseases up here.

  36. When I first looked at the map at the start of this article I thought it was going to something about human migration as the lines show the most used routes from areas outside the EU/Europe by migrants (both economic and political). Perhaps having read the article, it would be a simpler explanation that people have carried these viruses from one place to another and as economic migrants tend to work on the land, accidentally infected the stock in the lands which have accepted them.

  37. dp says:
    June 29, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    Next you’ll hear cell towers are responsible for the die-off of honey bees …
    =========
    Be careful what you wish for …

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/bx23551862212177/

    Abstract: The worldwide maintenance of the honeybee has major ecological, economic, and political implications. In the present study, electromagnetic waves originating from mobile phones were tested for potential effects on honeybee behavior. Mobile phone handsets were placed in the close vicinity of honeybees. The sound made by the bees was recorded and analyzed. The audiograms and spectrograms revealed that active mobile phone handsets have a dramatic impact on the behavior of the bees, namely by inducing the worker piping signal. In natural conditions, worker piping either announces the swarming process of the bee colony or is a signal of a disturbed bee colony.

    Full text here: http://www.springerlink.com/content/bx23551862212177/fulltext.pdf

    Nutters, I agree.

  38. They found, for the first time, that an outbreak of a disease could be explained by changes to the climate.

    They found it, did they? Found it where? Did they lift a rock and watch their link to climate change slither away from the sunlight?

  39. About once a week, I get an E-mail from my 88 year-old father, or another of his generation – and sometimes from a good friend back East (who’s 5 years my senior!), asking me whether or not an E-mail they’ve received is “true”. Invariably they are hoaxes, but I dutifully send my mouse to Snopes and send them the link – although sometimes I just fwd the reply I sent the last time they asked about the same damn hoax!

    All these people have had the benefit of a good education; prior to retirement they were excellent professionals, and they still have all their faculties intact. I’m sure that if they read the same material in hard-copy, they’d treat it as junk and discard without a second thought. Yet, when they receive one of these emails, it’s as though their critical thinking skills have have been lost in a virtual parking lot somewhere!

    The latest one of these arrived today; but it’s not one I’d seen before (although it’s been around since ’98). The claim was that Aspartame (and similar products) was responsible for a gazillion life-threatening illnesses. Skimming through this masterpiece reminded me very much of press releases such as the one in this post.

    And the thought occurred to me that perhaps those who produce these press releases have convinced themselves that the mere mention of “climate change” will be sufficient to ensure that any reader’s critical thinking skills will flee to the nearest virtual parking lot.

  40. “Derek Sorensen says:
    June 29, 2011 at 11:57 pm”

    I am stunned there was a study into this when there is a much bigger problem with bees, and that is the bee mite, decimating bee colonies around the world. I believe Australia is the only country not affected.

  41. And during the Middle Ages, Malaria & Rindepest were endemic in parts of England. There was an outbreak of Rindepest in London in the 1870s.

  42. One look on the map tells you what is really happening. The lines shown depict the main routes of (95% illegal) immigration of Africans and Asians into Europe. So people bring this virus strains, not global warming.

  43. We have allready had BTV outbreak in sweden, in northern europe. Either the insects flew through whole europe and landed in sweden without causing any outbreaks on the way up north or humans brought it here through transports and animals.

    I bet a dollar that it was brought here with humans bringing in animals and through transports.
    As someone mentioned earlier, the arrows on the map looks just like the paths refugees take to get to europe.

  44. Its really rather scary because this sort of junk gives perfect ammunition for an army of bureaucrats to move in and ‘do something’ or ‘crack-down’ in an effort to justify their jobs/salaries/pensions/comfy offices etc etc – at taxpayer’s expense.

    The previous example, of course totally denied by ‘Government,’ was to the Warble Fly.
    Admittedly this was a nasty little beast but, the UK Government response forced onto farmers was to dose all cattle with an organo-phosphate insecticide that was absorbed through the animal’s hide. This stuff was/is nerve poison and was (had to be) applied along the animal’s back, all along its spinal cord= where a lot of nerves are and, at a dose that was 20 times the manufacturer’s recommendation then, repeated twice per year (I think – it was slightly ‘before my time’)
    Some years later, when those same bureaucrats said it was safe for UK cows to eat the rendered remains of their parents and grandparents, their brains went rotten with Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy. Surprise!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The response of the Faceless Goons frankly scares the **** out of me, they’re like monkeys with machine guns and this sort of junk is just the ammo they need.

  45. PROPHET: …And the bezan shall be huge and black, and the eyes thereof red with the blood of living creatures, and the whore of Babylon shall ride forth on a three-headed serpent, and throughout the lands, there’ll be a great rubbing of parts. Yeeah…

  46. As a sheep and cattle producer on the south coast of England, I was very worried in 2008 that we would be affected by Bluetongue. It tends to kill sheep dead, pretty well within a few days of infection, but cattle can be infected without showing symptoms or illness. It is cattle which can therefore act as an unseen reservoir of the disease and allows uninfected midges to bite the cattle, pick up the virus and then spread it to other animals. This also allows the virus to “jump” the natural barrier of a harsh winter by residing in a host animal. By 2009 the vaccine manufacturers had got their act together and produced BTV8 vaccine in sufficient quantities to employ a mass vaccination programme for UK farmers. By 2010 the UK had no further outbreaks and this year the UK has been declared a Bluetongue-free zone. Two very cold winters have also helped to kill off reservoirs of over-wintering midges.

    The midge which carries the virus is carried on the wind and can therefore jump large natural barriers such as the Meditterranean Sea, the North Sea and the English Channel. Meteorologists therefore play a part in predictions about possible sites of infection (i.e. landing grounds) in south and eastern England, when Bluetongue is present in places like The Netherlands, Belgium, France and northern Germany.

    But, as others have already pointed out, there is no direct link between climate change and the change in distribution of the various BTV strains. It is a fact that in Africa, where the disease has been known for a long time, animals’ natural resistance to it is considerable, even amongst sheep. Following classical neo-Darwinist theory, it is therefore an advantage for the virus to evolve (or mutate) to allow it to exploit a naive population. One species of bird that has done this is the Collared Dove, which in the 1920s was unknown outside India. Some time in the 1930’s it jumped the barrier of the Himalayas, and by the early 1950’s arrived to stay in the UK. It is now common in many urban spaces. No-one has so far suggested that this was due to climate change, but give it time and they will, I suppose.

  47. I’ve skimmed the article. I have to admire the authors for making it available to read without hiding it behind a paywall. For which privelege they have had to find £1400. Now, they could have kept it away from skeptics and in the hands of only those in Ivory Towers, but they didn’t, so some credit is due for that.

    The model’s weaknesses are several. First of all the vector thrives in mud, so one of the most important climatic variables is going to be rainfall – the when and where of which we don’t know and can’t predict. Second, despite the great complexity of the model (see for example the formula for reproductive ratio under section 2.1 in the article) hides even greater complexity. The midges don’t exist alone in a climate-controlled world, but have predators of their own which might respond in various ways to climate change, as might the dozens of other midge species the vector species compete with. Changes in animal husbandry techniques, & locations where cattle are kept can’t be controlled for.

    But the big one is rainfall. I don’t much trust models of temperature change. I have absolutely no doubt that models of rainfall change are as good as a coin toss.

    So, hold rainfall steady and put temperature up, isolate the vector from all outside influences, you get a rise in transmission rates. The question is, how realistic is it?

  48. Researcher: Well, what did the computer simulation show?
    Assistant: Nothing.
    Researcher: Run it again.
    Assistant: OK…. again nothing.
    Researcher: Run it again.
    Assistant: But we’ve run it over 600 times already, all runs showed nothing unusual, there’s almost no parameters left to tweak!
    Researcher: Just run it again, do what you are told.
    Assistant: OK…. again… huh? Look at this. Run 642 shows a parameter set that correlates to prediction of climate change. 641 runs and nothing, this is the first one that-
    Researcher: EXCELLENT! Call the reporters, we’ve got a press release to give them.

    “They found, for the first time, that an outbreak of a disease could be explained by changes to the climate.”

  49. Temperature does not spread a viral problem, in fact viruses are prone to damage with elevated temperature which is why our temperature rises when we catch a cold or flu.

    Viruses are spread by increased animal contact. We import animals from Africa, where Blue Tongue is rife, transfer thew virus to our healthy cattle.

    The cure is attach the disease in Africa. Everyone then gains.

  50. When it suits them, the alarmists talk of global warming, as if it was going to be an even rise. When it suits them they talk of more extreme weather events. I think this report chooses to ignore the probability that with or without AGW we will still get winters cold enough to kill off the mozzies.

  51. Such has been the warming that Blue Tongue has now been found in Sweden. Must be a stonking model to predict that unless of course the model contains a component of midge transfer by plane, virus transfer by animal movement and survival over winter of the virus by transplacental infection to be found in the blood of newborn stock in the spring and the consequent reinfection of new season midges.

  52. John Marshall: Our temperature rises when we get flu or a cold because inflammation is the first reponse of the immune system to attack from viruses etc. Inflammation is caused by raised levels of blood supply to the site of attack and that is what gives us the raised temperatures. The virus is (hopefully) destroyed by other actions of the immune system which consume the virus.

    Bluetongue is not spread by animal to animal contact but by the principal vector which is midges carrying the virus. They bite the animal and the animal is thereby infected.

    The UK does not import cattle or sheep from Africa.

    Bluetongue is now endemic in Europe as the diagram in the article for this post suggests. Eradicating the virus from Africa, even if that was possible, will do nothing to deal with the disease now that it is established on mainland Europe.

  53. G*d d*mnit! Those are trade and refugee routes, as others have noted. Gee do you think this is to do with the opening up over the last 20 years of the EU zone to the east, increased refugee migration to Southern Europe and the dropping of internal EU borders for most goods transport??? Or the possible fraction of a degree of nominal temperature change on average over a continent? Let’s take bets…

  54. “Researchers produced a mathematical model that explains…”

    As soon as I read this I quit…..After a statement like that starts the lies and fudging of the data.

  55. “……but its emergence in Europe is thought to be linked to increased temperatures,….”

    So the recent, bitterly cold winters did not have much effect?

    “Researchers produced a mathematical model that explains how the risk of an outbreak of bluetongue virus in Europe changes under different climate conditions.”

    I call out bollocks on that one.

    This research from 2010 blames globalization.

    Three years of bluetongue disease in central Europe with special reference to Germany: what lessons can be learned?
    Kampen H, Werner D. – 2010
    “It is due to continuing globalization rather than to climate change that even central and northern Europe are at risk of new pathogens as well as vectors of disease entering and establishing. BTD was the first ‘exotic’ disease to arrive: it did not slowly spread northwards but jumped in through a still unknown entry point. “

  56. Global warming spread human diseases to the native Americans – not. We know that certain diseases were introduced by Europeans. WTF!

  57. Patrick Davis says:
    June 30, 2011 at 12:37 am

    “Derek Sorensen says:
    June 29, 2011 at 11:57 pm”

    I am stunned there was a study into this when there is a much bigger problem with bees, and that is the bee mite, decimating bee colonies around the world. I believe Australia is the only country not affected.=====
    seeing as the govt was about to pullo funding for the eradication of asian bees that have managed to invade nthn areas we may NOT be safe for lomng.
    Bayers Imidicloprid was Admitted to be toxic to bees and small mammals, we now use it and the nicotinamides here..
    and to the guy who thinks phones or power lines dont affect bees,
    mate , I would love to place you near bees under power lines, aggro is a mild descriptor!
    placing a phone on a hive, a simple test, the bees DO react.
    as for blue tongue, transport of animals hides etc and lousy bio controls at borders if any>..so easy to spread disease.
    even with standards Aus got american whitefly here as well as fire ants, so much for security.

  58. MAYBE this might be a problem, if the world were actually getting warmer. Where I live, at the end of June, and we’re struggling to get out of the 60s F.

    Global Warming ain’t global.

  59. Well obviously its climate change causing the rise in cases of bluetongue virus because they eliminated all the other possible causes such as as increase in livestock movement from infected regions. Oh wait…

  60. First, since we have not warmed since 1995 (or 1998’s El Nino event) and have been gently cooling or worse since 2002, how can they make these projections and have any validity?

    Second, there are so many other factors out these that affect the spread of disease, if beggars the imagination to think that they can make any sort of meaningful attribution to warming’s effect. It’s particularly meaningless as we are not warming. Attributions are fun; you can make up any numbers you need. ALL of the WHO prognostications of the disease and death that global warming WILL cause are all made by (arbitrary) attribution and then they run the numbers to see what percentage of the deaths can be blamed on warming. A half a degree F is not going to change anything.

    Just another alarmist claim!

  61. Jimbo says:
    June 30, 2011 at 6:55 am
    Global warming spread human diseases to the native Americans – not. We know that certain diseases were introduced by Europeans. WTF!

    If we had still been in the depths of the last glacial advance in 1492 the Euros would not have sailed to the New World so ergo climate change spread diseases to native Americans. Please get with the program. ;)

  62. ““The advent of DDT revolutionized malaria control by targeting the home, leading to widespread eradication of the disease from Europe and North America. By 1975, Europe and North America were entirely free of endemic malaria.”

    Once free of malaria, Europe and North America then moved to ban DDT, killing hundreds of millions in Africa and Asia in the process.

    Once industrialized, Europe and North America then moved to ban CO2, killing hundreds of millions in Africa and Asia in the process.

    If you live long enough, history will repeat itself.

  63. They could of course have had a look at Wiki for an alternative possibility – which they really should have mentioned in their paper (did they?) – and they’d have found this under “Bluetongue”:

    “A significant contribution to the northward spread of Bluetongue disease has been the ability of Culicoides obsoletus and C.pulicaris to acquire and transmit the disease, both of which are spread widely throughout Europe. This is in contrast to the original C.imicola vector which is limited to North Africa and the Mediterranean.”

    Global warming is mentioned just before this extract as “perhaps” being a contributory factor.

    We should remember of course that even if the globe is warming, that in itself says nothing about why it’s warming.

  64. In any case, it looks like the researchers have got it wrong. There is a previously unsuspected infection route that appears to allow the virus to move to colder climates. The climate model assumes that the disease is insect borne, by midges that cannot survive cold winters. However, this is at odds with the rapid spread of the disease northwards since October 1998, at a pace much faster than can be accounted for by warming.

    “Bluetongue virus might survive the winter within fetuses”, Institute for Animal Health, press release, 5 March 2008.

    http://www.iah.bbsrc.ac.uk/press_release/2008/2008_3.htm

  65. If you notice the graph, it is BTV-8 that is spreading into Europe, which is the strain of BTV that has been identified as passing from mother to fetus, to re-infect the midges the following year.

    It would appear that the cause of the infection spreading north is a mutation of the virus. Other strains killed the fetus. This new strain does not, allowing the infection to survive during cold winters. This type of mutation is to be expected, as viruses over time become less lethal, to allow for more widespread infection rates. What we are seeing is evolution, not global warming.

  66. What we are also seeing is bad science, the assumption that everything bad is caused by global warming, which causes resources to be wasted on ineffective solutions.

    If only we could stop global warming, this would cure disease, poverty, hunger, cancer, etc, etc.

    The truth is that even if we stopped global warming and/or climate change today, so that conditions were exactly as they were in 1850, before industrialization, it would not solve that vast majority of the problems we face.

    Would such a change wipe out hunger, disease, illiteracy, etc? No, the change would be unnoticeable, except that food production would drop due to less CO2, which if anything would make matters worse.

    This is the main problem with the CO2 obsession. The idea that if we could stop CO2 then all our problems would be solved. We have tons of problems today that are not being solved because of the time and money being wasted as a result of bad science blaming everything on CO2.

  67. As others have mentioned the map above could be overlaid on a map of illegal migrants and their would be a good fit. The outbreaks are definitely man-made but have nothing to do with global warming. Move along folks, nothing to see here.

    People movements, cattle movements, container ships, freight trucks……………the possibilities are endless.

  68. Now for the good news. Since the 1960’s the percentage of cancer survivors is going up similar to a hockey stick. I’m sure global warming/climate change is a factor.

  69. Are we sure that it isn’t due to the number of cattle being raised as “organic” isn’t hitting a number significant enough to act as a host? The timeline supports the idea.

  70. I suppose they mean Global Warming and not Climate Change because as we all know Climate always changes..

  71. Could, if, might. In my long lost youth we had a ribald saying that might more politely be expressed as “If my auntie had cojones she would be my uncle”.

  72. The Bluetongue was probably brought to Europe in a similar way that the rinderpest virus went to Africa. In the 19th century the serengetti national park was occupied by several African tribes including the masai.

    http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/borntorun/html/intro.html

    In the late 19th century colonists brought with them the rinderpest virus which wiped out the local cattle population leading to mass starvation and the illusion of a pristine African wilderness.

  73. This is beyond belief. Are the people targeted by this kind of pseudo-science so unable to think?
    We are to believe that an increase of a few tenths of a degree over 50 years (when daily high temperature fluctuates tens of degrees during any summer month) has caused this spread of disease. What about ferries, trucks, trains, and planes? It couldn’t have anything to do with that.
    What about Europe importing more animals that in the past were raised locally? Let’s not look there for relavent data. For shame on these scientists that want money for their disease research so they say Global Warming is the cause to get funding.
    For shame.

  74. I used to have hair and now I don’t. I’m certain my baldness has been caused by climate change.

  75. “They found, for the first time, that an outbreak of a disease could be explained by changes to the climate.”

    Cobblers!!! They discovered this a Pirbright years ago, certainly when they were supplying me with C. imic and nubec back in the eighties. Where are you now John Boorman? They are wearing your crown.

  76. “They found, for the first time, that an outbreak of a disease could be explained by changes to the climate.”

    Cobblers!!! read this published in 1995
    “The recent outbreaks of African horse sickness (AHS) in Spain, Portugal and Morocco, which persisted for at least 5 years (1987-1991) therefore seem to have established a new pattern in AHSV survival in an epidemic zone. This extended persistence may be due to the ‘all-year-round’ presence in the area of adult Culicoides imicola, the major AHSV vector. This is basically an Afro-Asiatic species and its continuous presence in parts of Iberia and may be due to some recent moderation in the climate. Further northerly extensions in the range of Culicoides imicola, in response to ‘climatic moderation’, cannot be ruled out and could substantially increase the area of Europe ‘at risk’ to AHS.
    Ann Trop Med Parasitol. 1995 Feb;89(1):1-15.
    The transmission and geographical spread of African horse sickness and bluetongue viruses.
    Mellor PS, Boorman J.
    SourceInstitute for Animal Health, Pirbright Laboratory, Woking, Surrey, U.K.

  77. “For shame on these scientists that want money for their disease research so they say Global Warming is the cause to get funding.”

    Not all of them.
    Boorman and Mellor were doing this research on a shoestring back in the eighties long before global warming became a cause celebre.
    I can remember bringing specimens back from Crete for them preserved in Metaxa brandy for lack of anything better.
    I also remember, with gratitude, John Boorman giving me introductions to contacts at the Commonwealth Institute and the Natural History Museum so that I could pursue my own researches (again on a shoestring).
    Not everyone is in it for the money, often there isn’t any. There are or were scientists out there who do it for its own sake, knowing that fame and fortune are unlikely to be theirs but happy to win the grudging respect of their peers.

  78. I happen to think this article speaks the truth. The stench of global warming hype is getting so bad, it is even making the animals sick. Who can argue with that?

  79. I wonder if illegal immigrants from Africa and Asia reported to customs whether they had visited (or crossed) farmland in their journey to the promised lands in Europe?

  80. I can do modeling too! A lemon on May 1 cost $0.59, June 1 it was $0.69 and 2 weeks ago it cost $0.79 and thus the nearly perfect polynomial model is y = 9E-05×2 + 0.0004x + 0.5896. By running that forward, with high precision I might add, to Jan 1, 2020, a lemon will cost $905.12. OMG! It’s worse than we thought !! /sarc

  81. Theo Goodwin says @ “If you have no well-confirmed hypotheses then you have no science. They have none or they would not be using models.”

    I am not sure that is correct – there is a lot of evidence that species will respond to varying conditions, temperature being one of them. Using a model is required because it hasn’t happened yet – and it doesn’t seem to make sense that you cannot model possible outcomes.

  82. Could we leave the (illegal) immigration of different ethnic groups and religions out of this?

    its only a part of a larger movement of goods, livestock and people around this globe and in my opinion highly distracting and has little or nothing to do with the science behind this.

  83. The blue tongue correlates to the migration of muslims to europe.

    So global warming also cause religious conversion? It’s worse than I thought, now we have to do something.

  84. Robert, I beg to differ. Immigration is a HUGE factor in the spread of disease. In animals, humans, and in plants. HUGE. History, in writing, and in archeological digs, abounds with the evidence.

  85. I’m one of the people that started to monitor Culicoides. I also put traps in animial transportation cars and the only species I got was Culicoides. Animal transportations are a big business in the EU. What do you think is the official truth, Culicoides transported by winds or by humans? The strain in Europe is probably from Nigeria. The annual mean difference in temperature between Nigeria and the Netherlands is 18° C, which contraticts all IPCC predictictions. A virus that can make such a jump is definitely not dependent on climate.

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