Climate Change Driving Amphibian Extinction
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Climate Change Driving Amphibian Extinction

July 27, 2010
Recent studies show the Earth's warming climate is contributing to the increase of chytrid disease, a fungus infection that is responsible for the extinction of many tropical frog species. The fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, infects tadpoles and eventually attacks the skin of adults and kills them. Scientists know the spore stage can swim through water to infect other frogs, but there is still much to know about how the disease spreads, and if it can survive in other animals.

These results from a National Science Foundation-supported study provide the first clear proof that global warming is causing outbreaks of this infectious disease. The study demonstrates the complex nature of global climate change, including how climate affects the spread of disease, and why these must be integrated if we are to understand and reduce threats to species extinctions.

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