NPR’s Ari Shapiro speaks with climate scientist Camilo Mora on what impact climate change is having on pathogenic diseases.
ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:
We often talk about the impact climate change will have on us in big, visible ways, like floods, fires and storms. A new study published in Nature this month looks at much smaller ways climate change may affect us, microscopic ways. Climate scientist Camilo Mora of the University of Hawaii was one of the authors of the study. And he told me part of their motivation was to see if climate change had anything to do with the outbreak of COVID-19.
CAMILO MORA: We just don’t know yet. But what I can tell you after doing this work is that I can tell you at least 20 different ways in which COVID-19 could have been caused by climate change.
SHAPIRO: So I asked him to explain the connection between climate change and diseases caused by microorganisms like viruses and bacteria.
MORA: What is happening is that there are many ways in which climate change is actually forcing these species to get into contact with us. And by increasing those contacts, it turns out that there are now pathogens that are in the wild, are having a higher chance to come i …