"Warming Helps Crop Pests Spread North, South: Study"

"Crop-damaging pests are moving towards the poles at a rate of more than 25 km (16 miles) a decade, aided by global warming and human transport, posing a potential threat to world food security, a study showed on Sunday."

"The spread of beetles, moths, bacteria, worms, funghi and other pests in a warming world may be quicker than for many types of wild animals and plants, perhaps because people are accidentally moving them with harvests, it said.

Scientists based in Britain studied more than 600 types of pests around the world and found that their ranges shifted on average towards the poles by 26.6 kms per decade since the 1960s, occupying vast new areas.

"We believe the spread is driven to a large degree by global warming," lead author Daniel Bebber of Exeter University told Reuters of the findings in the journal Nature Climate Change. They wrote it was the first study to estimate how pests are moving because of a changing climate."

Alister Doyle reports for Reuters September 13, 2013.

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Source: Reuters, 09/02/2013