Erratic weather fueled by climate change will worsen locust outbreaks, study finds

Science & Tech 21:00 15.02.2024

Extreme wind and rain may lead to bigger and worse desert locust outbreaks, with human-caused climate change likely to intensify the weather patterns and cause higher outbreak risks, a new study has found. Ednews reports citing AP.

The desert locust — a short-horned species found in some dry areas of northern and eastern Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia — is a migratory insect that travels in swarms of millions over long distances and damages crops, causing famine and food insecurity. A square kilometer swarm comprises 80 million locusts that can in one day consume food crops enough to feed 35,000 people. The U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization describes it as ”the most destructive migratory pest in the world.”

The study, published in Science Advances on Wednesday, said these outbreaks will be “increasingly hard to prevent and control” in a warming climate.

Xiaogang He, author of the study and an assistant professor at the National University of Singapore, said more frequent and severe extreme weather events due to climate change could add unpredictability to locust outbreaks.

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