Emerging Environmental Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Good and Bad

As the COVID-19 pandemic scourges the planet, research and other efforts have focused on the human toll of the virus. Recent research has begun shedding light on the effects of COVID-19 on the environment. At first glance, these effects seem beneficial. However, many negative consequences also loom, particularly in the long-term.

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A way forward: an ecological hypothesis to understand and predict disease spillover events

It is critical that we understand all of the pieces of spillover events so that they can be predicted and ideally prevented. Scientists at Auburn University recently considered the two main hypotheses for spillover, and asked how do pathogens with the potential to spillover from wildlife to humans arise in damaged or altered landscapes?

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COVID-19 Watch: Wastewater Edition

The COVID-19 global pandemic has changed the world as we know it. As a society, this pathogenic virus presents challenges not only in preventing its spread and treating its victims, but also in monitoring its growth and/or decline throughout the population. In this study, researchers discuss utilizing wastewater as a possible pathway for tracking the presence/evolution of the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen in residential areas.

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Computer models suggest how COVID-19 may disrupt warming oceans

COVID-19 has disrupted much of life as we know it – and the environment is no different. While we may not know the full impact until many years later, scientists suspect that the sudden, drastic decrease in fossil fuel use, especially air travel, will appear as some disruption to our seemingly unstoppable climb in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels. The primary way humans can slow global warming is to decrease our use of fossil fuels. What would such a world look like? Scientists hope to build models in order to learn and make better predictions from this unexpected experiment.

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