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Climate Change Is Helping One Weird Pest Destroy More Crops

Climate Change Is Helping One Weird Pest Destroy More Crops
One of the worst agricultural pests in the United States is about to get a whole lot worse. According to new research published in PLOS One, the effects of climate change have caused tiny but devastating migratory insects known as potato leafhoppers to arrive a full 10 days earlier than they did 60 years ago. Not only that, but the research shows that bug infestation levels are worse in warmer years, meaning they could pose a much greater threat than they have for decades. In turn, the warmer weather may push the insects to travel farther north then they typically care to, meaning potato leafhoppers could soon move into regions where they currently aren’t posing much of a threat. “How much farther north is it going to move, and for which crops do we need to start gearing up our management?” asked Dilip Venugopal, the study’s coauthor and a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Maryland. RELATED: Your Carbon Emissions May End Up Starving Poor People in Africa

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