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EARTH Magazine: Parasites spread across the Arctic under the 'new normal'

Alexandria, Va. The last several decades have seen Arctic sea-ice minimums drop by more than half in area and more than three-quarters in volume. With current models predicting further reductions, scientists are calling it the "new normal" and are trying to grasp its implications one of which is the occurrence of pathogens never before seen in the Arctic.

Ice is a major eco-barrier for pathogens, but with Arctic ice diminishing rapidly amid the changing climate, pathogens have an opportunity to move into new areas and spread disease as mammals increase their ranges and intermingle. The spread of pathogens into new areas is a pressing issue, scientists say.

Contact: Megan Sever
American Geosciences Institute

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