The prevalence of Urinary Stone Disease (USD) or urolithiasis has been increasing over the past few decades. In this new paper published in Science of the Total Environment an international team from China University of Geosciences, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and the Ecohydrology Research Group present evidence that the spatial distribution of USD can be explained to a large degree by geo-environmental conditions, including lithology, water chemistry and climate. Using a Bayesian risk model, the global risk of USD is assessed based on big data of four key geogenic factors: the presence of phosphorite mines, the distribution of carbonate rocks, the Ca2+/Mg2+ molar ratio of river water and the mean annual air temperature. Under the current climate, the areas with probabilities for USD prevalence exceeding 50% and 30% cover 3.7% and 20% of the Earth's land surface, respectively. By the end of the 21st century, these areas could rise to 4.4% and 25% as a result of global warming.
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