Arctic thaw is spreading wildlife diseases

Two parasites find new species to infect as melting ice breaks down barriers to their range

By Tina Hesman Saey, 10:33 AM February 15, 2014

CHICAGO — In recent years, the Arctic has been warming at an unexpected rate — faster than anywhere else on the planet. This has boosted the melting of ice on land and covering much of the Arctic Ocean. The extra melt water has begun eroding natural barriers that once separated parasites from potential hosts, new data show. The result: Animals are becoming infected with new diseases.

That erosion has introduced marine mammals to at least two novel infections, notes Michael Grigg. As a parasito...

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