Outbreak Of Poisonous Oak Processionary Caterpillar Blamed On Climate Change (Even Though There’s No Data)

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The German media are reporting on a developing outbreak of the oak processionary caterpillar now spreading over the Eastern and Southern areas of Germany.

The caterpillars are pests in oak forests and they pose a health hazard because of their poisonous hairs which can cause skin irritation and asthma. Quite the nasty critter, indeed.

German daily Die Welt reports that the dangerous caterpillar develops especially well in warm and dry springs, adding:

Also climate change has likely contributed to the spread of the pest.”

Even though they don’t cite any information or data to back it up. I suspect they got their information from Wikipedia, who write:

The moths are widely distributed in central and southern Europe, and are occasionally found as far north as Sweden. In the southern countries of Europe the populations are controlled by natural predators, but these predators do not exist in northern Europe. Their range is expanding northward, possibly or partly as a result of global warming [clarification needed, citation needed]. The moths are posing an increasing threat to humans as their range is being extended by the warming European climate.[citation needed]. The backs of older caterpillars (3rd to 6th instars) are covered with up to 63,000 pointed defensive bristles containing an urticating toxin (thaumetopoein or closely related compounds). The setae break off readily, become airborne and can cause epidemic caterpillar dermatitis (lepidopterism), manifested as a papular rash, pruritus, conjunctivitis and, if inhaled, pharyngitis and respiratory distress, including asthma or even anaphylaxis.”

The oak processionary caterpillar has spread during other years as well.

Read more here.

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2 responses to “Outbreak Of Poisonous Oak Processionary Caterpillar Blamed On Climate Change (Even Though There’s No Data)”

  1. DirkH

    Well you see temperatures peaked in 1998 and Gaia decided to strike back but being such a big entity with nerves made of rock and molten metal, it takes a while for it to react so the time lag is perfectly natural. Expect a paper from the PIK real soon now explaining it in more detail.

    Speaking of Gaia, Lovelock jumps ship.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/23/breaking-james-lovelock-back-down-on-climate-alarm/
    First reaction by warmist Monty: Well he ain’t a climate scientist anyway so what does he know. You couldn’t make it up.

  2. John F. Hultquist

    Check historical accounts. There are often cycles with such things. For example, the Spruce bud worm in the Pacific NW USA.
    http://www.dailyrecordnews.com/top_story/spruce-budworm-outbreak-expected-to-continue/article_d946ef6a-8a3b-11e1-a865-0019bb2963f4.html

    This article mentions the area on the east slope of the Cascade Mtns. in Washington State. 1940s mentioned.

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