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The social and public health implications of global warming and the onslaught of alien species

abstract1 (full description below): Journal of Wilderness Medicine 3, 118-127 (1992)
global warming and the onslaught of alien species. PDF/Acrobat file     M.E. Soule

Humans are engaged in an uncontrolled experiment in planetary heating. Each decade, the concentration of CO2, methane and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is increasing by about 4%. All signs point toward unprecedented rates of warming and climate change. Many plant and animal species living in natural ecosystems will perish because they will be unable to keep up with shifting climatic zones. Warming exacerbates another biomedical problem - the influx of alien animals, plants and pathogens. These introduced species, many from the tropics, will not only increase the variety and incidence of tropical diseases, but will also affect the quality of the wilderness experience and hence, the popularity of outdoor recreation. Some personal actions and political prophylaxis are recommended.