Climate researchers advocate paying more attention to future pandemics to climate change

The German climate researcher Hans-Otto Pörtner has advocated shedding more light on the importance of climate change for future pandemics.

Glasgow – “The pandemic is part of a bigger problem,” said Pörtner, who on Tuesday as part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was virtually connected to a meeting of the research association at the World Climate Conference in Glasgow. The increased risk of pandemics, fueled by climate change and the loss of biodiversity, must be given more attention and discussed. “We have not yet reached the core of this debate,” said the climate researcher from the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) in Bremerhaven.

The pandemic also posed an unprecedented challenge for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. For the most recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, for which more than 230 scientists evaluated around 14,000 climate studies, several weeks of zoom sessions and thousands of messages about the Slack short message service was necessary. “It was a bit like the hum of a flock of birds,” reported the co-chair of the responsible working group, Valérie Masson-Delmotte, in Glasgow.

The chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Hoesung Lee, told of the last personal meeting of the panel more than a year and a half ago in Paris shortly before the outbreak of the pandemic. “We analyzed what would happen in 2100 there, but we didn’t see what would happen two weeks later,” said Lee. The pandemic made the researchers very humble. (dpa)

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