Finally and thankfully, the majority of Americans, accept that climate change is a real and serious problem facing future generations. However, many people do not concern themselves with the impact of climate change on marine life and the habitats and behaviors of land animals.
Evidence that climate change is adversely affecting humans now may help convince the remaining naysayers, which will benefit both human and animal populations affected by climate change.
Researchers from Arizona State University are providing just that kind of evidence with their report that Americans can expect earlier and more severe flu seasons because of climate change.
You have already heard that this year the flu began early and is more serious. This new study tell us why.
This fierce flu season follows a mild season. Last year had the lowest peak since tracking began and also was the warmest winter on record. Warm winters are usually followed by heavy flu seasons.
If global warming continues, warm winters will become more common, and the impact of flu will likely be more heavily felt, say the researchers.
"It appears that fewer people contract influenza during warm winters, and this causes a major portion of the population to remain vulnerable into the next season, causing an early and strong emergence," says led research Sherry Towers. "And when a flu season begins exceptionally early, much of the population has not had a chance to get vaccinated, potentially making that flu season even worse."
The study is published in the Jan. 28 online publication PLOS.