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Buzzz! A hotter world = more insects

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Just as the jungle is buggier than the Arctic, a world made hotter by global warming could also have more insects -- which would be bad news for farmers, researchers said Thursday.

"Insect damage on fossil leaves found in southwestern Wyoming, from the late Paleocene (60 million years ago) -- early Eocene (53 million years ago) global warming interval, demonstrates this prediction," Peter Wilf and Conrad Labandeira of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington wrote in a report in the journal Science.They looked at fossilized plants from an area including the Great Divide and Green River basins of southwestern Wyoming.

Samples taken earlier showed that mean annual temperatures rose from about 57 degrees Fahrenheit to 70 degrees Fahrenheit during this time.

There was much more insect damage to leaves during the Eocene, when it was warmer, Wilf and Labandeira found.