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Fly population set to double with global warming

Published: 27 September 2004

A leading biological scientist from the University of Southampton is warning of massive increases in the UK's fly population if temperatures continue to rise.

Experts predict average temperatures will increase by three degrees or more within the next few years, if global warming continues across the planet.

Dr Dave Goulson from the University's School of Biological Sciences says this could mean the fly population growing by 97 per cent.

He bases his predictions on work done at a landfill site where there had been problems with flies. Dr Goulson recommended that site operators cover the rubbish with layers of soil to bury the maggots.

He also embarked on long term research monitoring fly numbers and relating them to weather conditions and temperatures. Then, he used the comprehensive data in a computer model to suggest what would happen with increases in temperature.

"Flies are annoying but they also carry many human diseases." said Dr Goulson, "We need to have plans in place to cope with any large increase in the fly population."

Notes for editors

The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution with a global reputation for leading-edge research and scholarship. The University has over 19,200 students and 4,800 staff and plays an important role in the City of Southampton. Its annual turnover is in the region of £250 million.

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