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Insecticides an increasing problem in future for streams in Europe
Date:12/6/2011

ernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published in 2007 as the so-called A1B scenario. At that time this was a worst-case scenario, with the world's average temperature expected to rise by 2.8 degrees by the end of the 21st century. Many scientists now believe that the actual temperature rise might be well above this," states PD Dr. Matthias Liess of the UFZ. "If CO2 emissions and as a result the temperature rise are higher, the ecological risks for streams will also increase faster and the expected pollution levels will be reached much sooner."

To date there have been very few studies which investigate the impact of climate change on the ecological risks of pesticides for waterlife on large spatial scales. There are only estimates for 12 coastal states of the USA, and these expect there will be a general increase in the use of insecticides of up to 28 per cent between 2000 and 2100. The European study, though, expects a much higher increase of up to 23 times the amount of insecticides currently being used for some countries, depending in the degree of temperature rise and the assumed land use changes. The UFZ researchers were able to establish a link between the use of insecticides and temperature. The climatic changes will result in an increase in the rate of development of insects and their rate of survival in winter. Due to these general improvements in development conditions, an increased spread of insects is also expected. Therefore, the warmer it gets in a region, the more insecticides will be used. For insecticides, or so-called plant protection products, are used in agriculture to protect crops against pest insects. "We concentrated on insecticides in this study because invertebrates are affected much more by these than by other groups of pesticides," explains Dr. Mira Kattwinkel of the UFZ.

The starting situation and as a result the forecasts based on the scenarios for 2090 differ greatly in Europe. Regions with a very high ecolo
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Contact: Tilo Arnhold
presse@ufz.de
49-341-235-1635
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Source:Eurekalert  

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